The US is considering sending Syrian rebels body armour and armed vehicles and possibly provide military training according to The Washington Post.

Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to discuss the proposed policy change with officials during his tour of European and Arab capitals.

The newspaper said US officials remain opposed to sending weapons to the rebels.

Mr Kerry is to meet Syrian opposition leaders at a "Friends of Syria" conference in Rome later today.

Yesterday in London, he said President Barack Obama was evaluating more steps to "fulfill our obligation to innocent people."

He did not give details or say whether Washington was reconsidering whether to arm the rebels.

Mr Kerry said : "We are determined that the Syrian oppositions is not going to be dangling in the wind."

He also said the continued violence in Syria, which the United Nations estimates has killed 70,000 people, represented further evidence that it was time for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to relinquish his post.

The US has provided millions of dollars for food, medical care and clothing for Syrians and refugees, but has not sent aid directly to the rebels or the political opposition.