US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that the US will provide in addition $30 million in humanitarian aid to Syria. The announcement came as Clinton praised a new opposition group that has formed in Syria, called the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. "As the Syrian opposition takes these steps and demonstrates its effectiveness in advancing the cause of a unified, democratic, pluralistic Syria, we will be prepared to work with them to deliver assistance to the Syrian people,” Clinton announced, the Guardian reported.
Speaking to Reuters, Clinton added later: "We have long called for this kind of organization. We want to see that momentum maintained."
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Still, the US stopped short of fully recognizing the Syrian opposition or offering arms, according to Reuters. Officials explained that they want the new opposition group to first demonstrate that it has enough influence on the ground. The money will be distributed through the World Food Program.
This brings the total US aid to Syria to $200 million, the Associated Press reported. Clinton made the announcement in Western Australia, where she is attending an annual summit with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.