US President Barack Obama released a video statement to the Syrian people calling for the end of the Assad regime and announced $155 million in new humanitarian assistance to Syria amid reports of the Syrian army killing innocent civilians.
"In the face of this barbarism, the United States has joined with nations around the world in calling to an end to the Assad regime, and a transition that leads to a peaceful, inclusive and democratic Syria where the rights of all Syrians are protected," Obama said.
He listed the moves taken by the United States in order to assist bringing Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime to an end, "we've worked to isolate Assad and his regime, imposed sanctions that starved the regime of funds, recognized the Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, called for accountability for perpetrators of atrocities, and provide humanitarian relief to Syrians in need."
The US president called on other countries to do more, while saying that Assad’s regime “continues to weaken” and “will come to an end.”
The additional aid brings the US contribution to $365 million, which Obama said made the US “the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance” to Syria.
“The relief we send doesn’t say ‘made in America’ but make no mistake, our aid reflects the commitment of the American people,” Obama says in the statement.
“I want to speak directly to the people of Syria,” Obama says. The aid will help bring clothing for children, medical care, winter supplies and “flour and wheat for your families.”
"This aid will help address some of the immediate needs you face each day," he asserted.
UN refugee agencies and partner organizations said in December they need $1.5 billion in donations to support Syrian refugees and displaced persons still inside Syria for the first half of 2013. The appeal is based on planning estimates that as many as 1 million Syrians forced from their homes will need help.
The move comes days after Obama indicated in an interview no move toward US military intervention.
Meanwhile, the United Nations is receiving only limited support for its aid to millions of Syrians, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in published remarks, adding its humanitarian work needed "generous" help from a donor pledging conference on Wednesday.
The gathering in the Gulf Arab state of Kuwait will seek $1 billion of aid for Syria's neighbors sheltering 700,000 registered refugees, and another $500 million to bankroll humanitarian work for 4 million Syrians inside their country.
So far, the United Nations has received pledges covering just 18 percent of the target, unveiled last month as the scale of Syria's humanitarian crisis escalated sharply, and which aims to fund operations for the first half of this year.
Ban was quoted by the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) as saying what while the need for humanitarian aid was rising "the level of response the UN is receiving is very much limited."
"That is why I am appealing to the whole international community to render their generous support."
Some 4 million Syrians inside the country need food, shelter and other aid and more than 700,000 more have escaped to neighboring countries since the 22-month-old conflict began, according to the UN.
KUNA reported Ban as saying that on a visit to refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey six weeks ago he heard stories of refugees who had fled Syria "and particularly stories from children, who were very much concerned about their own future."
"That really saddened and humbled me."
Robert Watkins, UN humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, which has seen the biggest influx of refugees from the Syrian bloodshed, told Reuters that the United Nations had received promises of major donations at the Kuwait conference.
"We have every reason to be optimistic that there will a very good presence and new pledges that will be coming up at this conference," he said.
Watkins said the fact that the conference was being held in Kuwait could encourage other wealthy Gulf Arab states, who have led regional opposition to President Bashar Assad, to support the international aid effort.
In New York, UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi warned the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad may be able to cling to power for now but the country is "breaking up before everyone's eyes," diplomats told Reuters.
Brahimi suggested that attempts to end the 22-month-old conflict, which has claimed more than 60,000 lives according to UN figures, had not progressed in the last two months. He said it was up to the Security Council to end its impasse.
Syrian rebels, mostly Sunni Muslims, have been fighting to oust Assad since March 2011 in a conflict that, according to the United Nations, has left at least 60,000 people dead.
At the same conference, denouncing "unrelenting horrors" in Syria's war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed on Wednesday for an end to the violence and more aid to address a situation he said was catastrophic and worsening by the day.
"How many more people will be killed if the current situation continues?" Ban said, addressing a donors conference in Kuwait aimed at raising money for UN humanitarian work.
"I appeal to all sides and particularly the Syrian government to stop the killing ... in the name of humanity, stop the killing, stop the violence," the UN leader said.