News / Middle East

US Boosting Financial Support for Syrian Opposition

British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listen as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition meeting in New York, September 28, 201British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listen as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition meeting in New York, September 28, 201
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British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listen as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition meeting in New York, September 28, 201
British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listen as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition meeting in New York, September 28, 201
The Obama administration is boosting financial support for opponents of the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired a meeting Friday of foreign ministers backing the Syrian opposition.

Clinton said Washington will give another $15 million to Assad's political opponents and $30 million more in humanitarian support to help those displaced by fighting.

"Conditions in Syria continue to deteriorate as the Assad regime relentlessly wages war on its own people," said Clinton. "And we see more bodies filling hospitals and morgues, and more refugees leaving their homeland and flooding into neighboring countries."

She spoke at a meeting of foreign ministers from countries that are part of the so-called "Friends of Syria" group, which met with nine Syrian opposition leaders. Some of the members help arm Syrian rebels. Others, such as the United States, are restricting their aid to non-lethal assistance.

Russia and China continue to block tougher United Nations action against Damascus, arguing that sanctions with consequences interfere in Syria's internal affairs and a solution to the conflict cannot be imposed from outside.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil ElAraby told the meeting that it is time for a political transition in Syria because the situation is becoming "more explosive."

"The Syrian people are looking for us here - if we are truly the Friends of the Syrian people - to take concrete and practical steps to end this tragic and indeed dangerous crisis, to save the lives of innocent people and to save Syria and the whole region from the scourge of a more expanded civil war and more tragedies of massive proportions," said ElAraby.

Clinton said the Lebanese Shi'ite group, Hezbollah, and its sponsor Iran, are helping to keep Assad in power.

"There is no longer any doubt that Tehran will do whatever it takes to protect its proxy and crony in Damascus," she said.

With Syria's sectarian violence spilling over into Lebanon, Clinton said the longer the fighting continues, the greater the risks of extremism grow.

"We know the regime will do everything it can to pit communities against each other, and that extremists will be eager to exploit tensions and impose their own brutal ideology," said Clinton.

She said this means civil society groups and the political opposition must reassure minorities they will be safe in a post-Assad Syria.  Disunity among the political opposition topped the agenda at this "Friends of Syria" meeting.

The United States believes U.N. Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi should help bring together Assad opponents because, Washington argues, a more cohesive opposition can play a more effective role in a political transition.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 29, 2012 10:31 AM
You see more refugees, more dead bodies and more injured people. Yes, but the question of identity of the Syrian Opposition has not been answered. Who are these people and what is their manifesto? To continue to waste money and resources for a course that is going to be regrettable at the long run is foolishness. The example of Egypt, Libya and Pakistan should teach the US a big lesson but it seems this country learns very slowly. You helped Egypt Spring from Mubarak, did you listen to Morsi address the UN? Did you place his leaning in all of this? What is the gain from Libya? For the mere fact that Iran is the chief backer of Assad's regime is not enough reason to discard its contribution to the region's peace and stability. The Opposition you are helping to take over is a deadly extremist fanatical islamist group that will not give peace with Israel any chance at all. To remove Assad and replace him with an a Hezbollah, al qaida or Hamas-minded pro-arab group is a call to war, and the US should be prepared to give its ally in the region necessary assistance when it starts, for it's going to be deadlier and bloodier than the earlier wars. Mark this: the completion of the Arab Spring (which is when the opposition takes over in Syria) will be the declaration of the last war with Israel. Which is Iran's agenda. The outcome is anybody's prediction.

by: Everence from: US
September 28, 2012 6:58 PM
Another 45 million that could have been spent here.....

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