US to give Syrian rebels $70M more in aid

645X363 - Defense Policy Player

The U.S. will provide nearly $70 million in additional non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition groups, the Obama administration announced Friday.

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The State Department said in a statement that the White House is working with Congress to offer the assistance.

The new aid includes almost $30 million to help provide basic community services and support Syrian first responders, $25 million to boost the operational capabilities of "vetted units of the armed opposition," and help with digital training and documenting war crimes.

The announcement comes as administration officials faced questions from lawmakers this week on their strategy to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday that "we're under active discussion about whether and how to support" Syrian rebels in battle.

The State Department said Friday that, including the new funding, the United States will have given approximately $400 million in assistance to Syrian opposition.