White House Wants $500M for Syrian Opposition
Request to Congress says recipients will be vetted
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2014 4:14 PM CDT
A Syrian government solider aims his weapon during clashes with anti-government rebels in this file photo.   (AP Photo/SANA, File)

(Newser) – President Obama promised back in May to help the Syrian opposition in its fight against Bashar al-Assad, and today he made that promise a lot more tangible. The White House asked Congress for $500 million to train and equip the opposition forces, reports USA Today. With the conflict spilling over into Iraq, the White House had been under increasing pressure from critics such as John McCain to take action, notes Reuters. Recipients will be"appropriately vetted" to make sure the money doesn't go to terrorists, the White House says. The money would be the biggest step taken so far by the US in the Syrian conflict, notes the New York Times, and it would be part of a broader $5 billion counterterrorism initiative for the Middle East.

“While we continue to believe that there is no military solution to this crisis and that the United States should not put American troops into combat in Syria, this request marks another step toward helping the Syrian people defend themselves against regime attacks, push back against the growing number of extremists like ISIL who find safe haven in the chaos, and take their future into their own hands," says a national security spokesperson. ISIL, also seen as ISIS, refers to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the group now overrunning Iraq.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
White House Wants $500M for Syrian Opposition is...
3%
2%
1%
7%
4%
83%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 114 comments
TessTalks
Jun 29, 2014 9:06 PM CDT
Enough already. STOP giving money to other countries, when people in America are homeless, and adults and children go hungry EVERY day. This madness has got to end.
Chuck Roast
Jun 29, 2014 6:59 AM CDT
Just Print it!
GB99
Jun 28, 2014 1:48 PM CDT
How about $500 million to take care of our vets instead? Leave it to the liar in chief to find a way to spend more money, while benefiting our enemies. The Obama administration is so clueless.