Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Taiwan pledges US$1 million to stabilization efforts in Syria

Saudi Arabia says it's given $100 million to northeast Syria Trump cancels funding for U.S. stabilization efforts in Syria | TheHill
Ellis Copeland | 20 August, 2018, 00:26

The department said it has secured approximately $300 million in contributions and pledges from allies since April.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey was named U.S. special representative to Syria on August 17.

"This allows us to free up our tax dollars to use on other key foreign policy priorities", she said in a briefing for reporters.

Despite the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, between 20,000 and 30,000 of its fighters remain in the two countries, according to a United Nations report released Monday.

That left $193.4 million in limbo that would have had to have been returned to the Treasury Department on September 30 at the end of this budget year if it had remained unspent.

In a bid to reassure its partners in the coalition against IS as well as opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Pompeo appointed veteran diplomatic troubleshooter, James Jeffrey, to be a special envoy for Syria, Nauert said.

The source concluded by saying: "Syria condemns these despicable policies of the Saudi authorities and demands them to stop these awful and risky policies, adding that "Syria reiterates its call on all the Coalition's member states to withdraw from it without delay because it serves only terrorists and murderers and threatens security and peace in the region and the world", according to SANA".

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However, the move was still viewed by Democratic lawmakers as a sign the administration is heeding Trump's demand to end American involvement in Syria and reduce its commitment there.

President Donald Trump froze the funds in March while his administration reassessed Washington's role in the Syrian conflict, saying he wanted the U.S.to leave Syria.

USA officials insisted that Washington's efforts would be focused on defeating ISIS in Syria.

Still, the USA move is a sign the administration is heeding Trump's demand to end US involvement in Syria and reduce its commitment there.

It said Islamic State's territory is down to 400 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) in Syria and almost 150,000 people have returned to the city of Raqqa after the militant group fled.

We will continue to provide life-saving, needs-based humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Syrians, support for the White Helmets and the UN's International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to hold the Assad regime accountable for serious crimes, as well as equipment and other measures to counter the effects of chemical weapons in northwest Syria. "The focus is on the enduring fight against ISIS", said McGurk. "I want to develop the USA, our military and countries that help us!"

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