Clinton pledges Syria opposition $45 million in new aid from US


A Free Syria Army fighter yells 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great) as he mans a position with his comrades only 50 meters away from a Syrian army post in the Old City of Aleppo September 16, 2012. More than 27,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule erupted in March last year, the Britain-based Observatory estimates. The United Nations puts the toll at 20,000.


Marco Longori

US Secretary of State Clinton on Friday pledged $45 million in new aid to the Syrian opposition and its allies, as they seek to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Clinton announced that the Obama administration would provide the political opposition with $15 million in non-lethal aid and $30 million in humanitarian support, according to the Associated Press.

To date, the US has provided more than $130 million in humanitarian aid and $45 million in non-lethal aid, the AP noted.

Clinton made the announcement at a meeting of the Friends of Syria. Nine activists who have worked with pro-opposition local coordination committees in Syria attended the talks, Agence France Presse reported.

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The activists traveled from Syria to New York to make their case for aid to the leaders of nearly two dozen countries, said AFP.

Washington, however, has refused to give in to demands to arm the rebels, according to AFP.

The meeting was convened on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to focus on supporting the Syrian opposition and providing humanitarian assistance while increasing international pressure on Assad's regime, Voice of America reported.

The UNHCR warned Thursday that up to 700,000 Syrians could become refugees by the end of the year. It issued an appeal for $500 million in aid to help those who had already fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

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