U.S. announces $70 mln in non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition

A rebel fighter of the Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army gestures while standing with his fellow fighter near their weapons at the front line in the north-west countryside of Deraa March 3, 2015. (Reuters)

The U.S. State Department said on Friday it was working with Congress to provide nearly $70 million in new foreign support to the moderate Syrian opposition fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

“Today, I can announce a modest step forward that the Administration is working with Congress to provide nearly $70 million in new foreign assistance to continue our full range of support to the moderate Syrian opposition,” Antony J. Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, said in remarks published on the State Department website.

“With this additional funding, the United States will have committed nearly $400 million to support the opposition since the start of the revolution. And in two weeks, we will again step up to pledge generously at the conference in Kuwait to fund humanitarian assistance for displaced Syrians and refugees in neighboring states,” Blinken added.

The announcement was made during a reception to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Syrian uprising.

Blinken said the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Syria “is exacerbated further still by the Assad regime’s intentional and deadly obstruction of life-saving aid.”

“The regime leverages food and water as a weapon of war. It removes medical and surgical supplies from humanitarian convoys, even as those shipments are authorized for delivery.”

He said: “the United States holds the Assad regime accountable for these abhorrent actions that violate our most basic humanitarian principles and terrorize the Syrian people every single day.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44