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December 11, 2013

US Halts Non-Lethal Aid to Northern Syria

The United States has suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria after Islamist fighters seized warehouses used by the Western-backed Free Syrian Army rebel group.

U.S. officials say those warehouses contain supplies and equipment provided by the United States.

At a briefing on Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States is talking with Free Syrian Army General Salim Idriss and his staff to put together an inventory of U.S.-supplied equipment.



Earnest says that the Obama administration remains committed to providing Syrians with humanitarian aid which is distributed mainly through aid groups and the United Nations.

A U.S. Embassy official in Turkey would not give details Wednesday about what supplies the U.S. was halting. Reuters quotes an FSA spokesman saying the rebel group hopes the U.S. will "rethink" its decision and wait until the situation is clearer.

Days earlier, fighters from the Islamic Front, an umbrella group of six major rebel brigades, seized FSA bases and weapons warehouses at the Bab al-Hawa crossing between Syria and Turkey.

The Islamic Front is independent from the FSA and wants Syria to be an Islamic state.