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Syrian Rebels to Get Paychecks

'Assad must go,' declares Hillary Clinton at Syria conference in Turkey
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2012 4:41 AM CDT
Syria Ripped, Syrian Rebels to Get Paychecks
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a press conference after the opening session of the second 'Friends of Syria' conference at the Istanbul Congress Center on April 1, 2012, in Istanbul. Clinton pushed for tighter sanctions on Syria and to hold its leaders to account Sunday as she attended...   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – It looks like rebels in Syria are not going to be fighting only for their freedom—now they'll be fighting for a paycheck, too. Sixty nations gathered in Turkey yesterday for a “Friends of the Syrian People” conference, pledging financial support for the Syrian Free Army to encourage further defections from the Syrian armed forces, reports ABC News. "A lot of officers are willing to defect,” said a Saudi official. “We’re saying you can keep your current post. If you’re a general now you’ll remain a general.”

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The US said it would up its support by $12 million to $25 million for the rebel army and provide communications support. Officials are reluctant to provide direct military support to rebels, though, as long as opposition groups in Syria remain so divided. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also met yesterday with members of the Syrian National Congress, emphasizing the importance of preserving records and documenting atrocities for future investigations. "Assad must go," Clinton told ABC News. "The sooner the better for everyone concerned." (Read more Syria stories.)

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