Obama defends US role in Syria in Arabic-language address

Obama went on to call on other donors to step up to the plate.

“This new commitment will bring America’s total humanitarian aid to Syria to $365 million — making us the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people,” he said. “Today, I also call on the international community to do more to help these Syrians in need, and to contribute to the latest U.N. humanitarian appeal.”

More than 60,000 people have died since the uprising began 22 months ago. A number of Senate hawks, led by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), have called for a more forceful U.S. intervention and several Democrats joined them last week in requesting that humanitarian aid be funneled directly through the opposition council instead of non-governmental associations.