Bad, bad, bad, bad idea. There may have been secular forces at the beginning of the war but those days are long gone, the rebellion is now dominated by jihadists.

PARIS (AP) — The Obama administration is for the first time considering supplying direct assistance to elements of the Free Syrian Army as they seek to ramp up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

Officials in the United States and Europe said Tuesday that the administration is nearing a decision on whether to provide non-lethal assistance to carefully vetted fighters opposed to the Assad regime in addition to what it is already supplying to the political opposition.

The officials say a decision is expected by Thursday when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will attend an international conference on Syria in Rome.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the shift in strategy has not yet been finalized and still needs to be coordinated with European nations.