US to give direct aid to Syrian rebels

Washington, Ma Mar 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US will send the Syrian opposition an additional $60 million and provide rebel forces with direct aid meant to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.

“For more than a year, the United States and our partners have called on Assad to heed the voice of the Syrian people and to halt his war machine. Instead, what we have seen is his brutality increase,” Kerry told reporters in Rome.

He said during a global conference of world leaders and after he met with the leader of Syria’s opposition coalition Moaz al-Khatib.

“Given the stakes, the president will now extend food and medical supplies to the Syrian opposition,” Kerry said.

The announcement signals a sharp shift in White House policy for the first time since the Syrian regime cracked down on protesters in early 2011 and sparked a civil war.

— IANS/RIA Novosti

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Source: IANS

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