Obama marks end of Ramadan with more Syrian aid

“To help the many Syrians in need this Eid al-Fitr, the United States is providing an additional $195 million in food aid and other humanitarian aid, bringing our humanitarian contribution to the Syrian people to over $1 billion since the crisis began,” he continued. “For millions of Americans, Eid is part of a great tapestry of America’s many traditions, and I wish all Muslims a blessed and joyful celebration. Eid Mubarak.”

Eid al-Fitr, a 24-hour period that begins Wednesday evening, is celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan, a month when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Muslims celebrate the end of the holy month with big feasts.

Obama’s statement, in which he said he and first lady Michelle Obama send their “warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating,” caps off a tense final week of Ramadan in the Middle East and northern Africa.

The State Department closed 19 foreign diplomatic posts across the region, with some officials citing worries that a terror attack would take place last Sunday, known to Muslims as The Night of Power.

Reports quoted anonymous U.S. officials saying the National Security Agency intercepted messages between top al Qaeda operatives about specific plans for a terror attack.

Much of the chatter focused on Yemen, and on Tuesday, the U.S. evacuated embassy personnel and stepped up its drone attacks in the country. Yemen said Wednesday that it had foiled an al Qaeda plan to blow up oil pipelines in the country.

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