(Washington, DC)  --  The U.S. is reportedly moving toward sending lethal weapons to Syrian opposition groups.  The "Washington Post" reports the preparation comes as U.S. intelligence officials try to confirm strong suspicions that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.  President Obama has repeatedly warned the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that the use of chemical weapons would have severe consequences.  Some congressional Republicans have been pushing the White House to arm trusted rebel groups in Syria.  There are concerns that some members of the Syrian opposition have ties to al-Qaeda.