The United States has declined to fully recognize a newly formed Syrian opposition coalition, saying the group must first prove its worth after its predecessor was dogged by feuding and accusations of Islamist domination.
Fiscal year 2012/2013. Source: USAID
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the formation of the coalition, which supersedes the widely discredited Syrian National Council, was an important step, but did not offer it full recognition or arms.
She also urged the new group - the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces - to support the commitments it made recently in Doha and start influencing events on the ground.
"So, good beginning, highly welcomed by us and others, and we want to see the steps taken that have been promised," said Clinton. "And we stand ready to assist this new opposition in standing itself up and representing the Syrian people to the regime and the international community."
Syria denounced the organization, which it said had closed the door to a negotiated solution with President Bashar al-Assad.
France had fully recognized the new coalition of opposition groups on Tuesday becoming the first Western power to do so.
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council has also recognized the rebel group.
Clinton also announced the U.S. is providing $30 million in extra humanitarian aid for those affected by the Syrian conflict.
Clinton's remarks come as Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the fifth meeting of the Friends of the Syria will be held on November 30 in Tokyo. Japan will chair the meeting.
Syrian refugees try to cross the border fence from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain into Turkey during an air strike on Ras al-Ain, in the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, Turkey, November 13, 2012.
Newly arrived Syrian refugees are seen at Ceylanpinar refugee camp, Sanliurfa province, Turkey, November 10, 2012.
A Syrian girl who fled with her family carries a plastic container over her head as she walks to fill it with water at a displaced camp in the Syrian village Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, November 10, 2012.
People from the northern Syrian town Ras al-Ain attempt to cross into Turkey, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 13, 2012.
A Syrian family who fled from violence sits next to their belongings at a displaced camp in the Syrian village Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, November 7, 2012.
A Syrian baby cries as he lays on a swing attached to a tree at a camp in the Syrian village Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, November 5, 2012.
A Syrian boy, who fled his home with his family due to fighting between government forces and rebels, plays near his tent at a refugee camp near the Turkish border, Azaz, Syria, October 7, 2012.
A Turkish police officer checks identification cards of Syrian men after they crossed from Syria to Turkey at the Akcakale border gate, October 4, 2012.
A Syrian man, who fled his home due to government shelling, holds his son at Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, hoping to cross to a refugee camps in Turkey, near the Syrian town Azaz, September 12, 2012.
An elderly Syrian man, who fled his home due to fighting, takes refuge at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, in hopes of entering one of the refugee camps in Turkey, near the Syrian town of Azaz, August 23, 2012.
A Syrian girl, who fled her home with her family due to violence, looks back while checking her laundry, at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing near the Syrian town of Azaz, August 26, 2012.
Syrian refugees walk through the Dumez refugee camp in Dahuk, northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, August 13, 2012.
In fresh fighting Wednesday, Syrian troops used aircraft and artillery in an attempt to dislodge rebels from a town next to the border with Turkey. Ankara scrambled fighter jets to its southeastern frontier in response to the renewed Syrian air assault of the rebel-held frontier town of Ras al-Ain.
President Assad's air force has been bombing the area for days, trying to dislodge anti-Assad rebels who overran the town last week during an advance into Syria's mixed Arab and Kurdish northeast.
Also Wednesday, Israel's defense minister said Syrian rebels have taken control of nearly all villages near the Israeli-held Golan Heights. Ehud Barak said Assad's forces were "displaying ever-diminishing efficiency."