Barack Obama has declared Syria's main opposition group the sole "legitimate representative" of its country's people, deeming the move "a big step" in the international diplomatic efforts to end Syrian president Bashar Assad's regime.
Mr Obama told ABC News that the newly formed Syrian Opposition Council "is now inclusive enough" to be granted the elevated status, which paves the way for greater US and international support for the organisation.
More top news
The decision represents something of a victory for the president who will now be able to enforce most of his controversial 90-day ban.
Cool in the north, warmer air to the south
Police have warned the drug, known locally as "pink champagne", could be deadly.