Trump ending funding for US stabilization efforts in Syria

Trump ending funding for US stabilization efforts in Syria

The Trump administration informed Congress on Friday that it would end $200 million worth of stabilization efforts in war-torn Syria as it attempts to remove U.S. forces from the conflict.

U.S. officials told The Associated Press that the White House is notifying lawmakers that $200 million planned for efforts to stabilize the country and provide relief for civilians amid the Syrian Civil War would be shifted elsewhere.

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The officials said the cuts will be more than made up for by a $300 million investment from coalition partners, the AP reports, including Saudi Arabia. But the move is a sign that the Trump administration is moving to reduce the U.S. footprint in the country.

Trump previously froze the funds in March pending a future decision, while a State Department spokesperson said at the time that the agency remained committed to supporting vulnerable regions in the country.

The State Department "continues to work with the international community, members of the Coalition, and our partners on the ground to provide much needed stabilization support to vulnerable areas in Syria," the spokesperson said in March.

"In line with the president’s request to review all international assistance, we continually reevaluate appropriate assistance levels and how best they might be utilized, which we do on an ongoing basis," the agency continued.

During a speech in Ohio the same month, Trump indicated that U.S. forces would be "coming out of Syria, like, very soon."

"Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out," he said at the time. "We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be."