US 'non-lethal' aid reaches Syria despite border problems

By REUTERS
October 8, 2013 01:59
1 minute read.

 
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WASHINGTON - Some "non-lethal" US aid such as food and medicine is still getting through to areas controlled by Syrian rebels despite the recent closing of an important border crossing in the North of the country, the State Department said on Monday.

Turkey shut the border crossing near the Syrian border town of Azaz last month after al-Qaida-linked fighters took control of the town, booting out rival rebel groups.

The crossing had been a lifeline for rebel-held northern areas, allowing refugees out and supplies in, including supplies like medicine and food from the United States for the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.

"Despite the dynamic situation at the Turkish-Syrian border, it is important to note that various types of US assistance are still getting into Syria with the assistance of moderate opposition members and trusted activists," a State Department official said in email to Reuters.

"To ensure the safety of our partners risking their lives daily to facilitate the delivery of our non-lethal assistance, we cannot go into additional details," the official said, asking not to be named.

US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford promised an increase in US aid to the Syrian opposition during a meeting over the weekend in Istanbul with Free Syrian Army commander General Salim Idriss, a statement from the FSA's Supreme Military Council said.

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