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US to Give Another $100M to Moderate Syrian Opposition

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, speaking at a regional security summit in Bahrain, says the United States is stepping up its efforts in Syria on all fronts, Oct. 31, 2015.

The United States announced Saturday that another $100 million would be given to help the Syrian opposition boost local governments and civil societies.

The State Department said the money would be used for keeping schools open, restoring access to clean water and electricity, and supporting an independent media.

This latest contribution would bring total U.S. aid to the moderate Syrian opposition to $500 million since 2012.

The announcement came a day after President Barack Obama said he was sending about 50 U.S. special operations forces to Syria to help the opposition fight Islamic State militants.

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said at a regional security summit in Bahrain on Saturday that the U.S. was stepping up its efforts in Syria on all fronts.

The U.S. will be "intensifying our efforts in support of the moderate opposition [and] intensifying our efforts diplomatically to push at the same time for a political transition," Blinken said. "We have to be able to deal with both Daesh [Islamic State] and the civil war in Syria and the Assad problem at the same time."

Blinken said Russia has been launching airstikes indiscriminately in Syria against anyone who opposes President Bashar al-Assad. But he said the Russian mission has made very little progress.