The Syrian opposition’s recent lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill is beginning to pay off, with the Senate’s defense bill recognizing the Western-backed rebels as a US ally in the war on terror.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “authorizes the Secretary of Defense to provide equipment, training, supplies, and defense services to assist vetted members of the Syrian opposition,” according to a summary of the bill released May 23.

The language is included in a section of the summary that touts the bill’s potential to enhance “the capability of the U.S. armed forces and the security forces of allied and friendly nations to defeat al Qaeda, its affiliates and other violent extremist organizations” — a symbolic victory for the beleaguered opposition. […]