US Redirects Syria Funds, Emphasizes It Is Not Withdrawing

Lester Mason
August 18, 2018

People in northern Syria, the Foreign Ministry stresses in a statement, deserve much more in view of the hard conditions in which they live, and Saudi Arabia thus demonstrates its ‘clear obedience' to the US Administration. State Department officials have notified Capitol Hill of the change, but did not say where the funds will be redirected.

"We remain committed to our efforts in Syria", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a call with reporters to announce the policy.

The officials said the cuts will be more than made up for by a $300 million investment from coalition partners, the AP reports, including Saudi Arabia.

"We are remaining in Syria", McGurk said Friday, when asked about the perception that the pulling away.

Most of the money was pledged by Rex Tillerson in February, but was put under careful examination after he was sacked in March. They said the new funding would go toward priorities the U.S. had identified, and they pushed back against suggestions that the United States decision represents a retreat from leadership or a decline in Washington's commitment to the conflict.

President Trump made his intentions clear earlier this year when he declared the USA forces would be pulling out of Syria "very soon", saying they would be coming back to the US where they belong.

US officials told The Associated Press that the White House is notifying lawmakers that $200 million planned for efforts to stabilize the country and provide relief for civilians amid the Syrian Civil War would be shifted elsewhere.

Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee concurred, calling the move "astonishingly shortsighted".

Jeffrey, a former USA ambassador to Turkey, Iraq and Albania who also served as a deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush, will hold the title of "special representative for Syrian engagement" and will report to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Jeffrey, who retired in 2012, also holds the highest rank in the US Foreign Service: career ambassador. However, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert explained to reporters that the USA would remain active in Syria until the Islamic State had been defeated.

People ride their motorcycle by damaged buildings in the old town of Homs, Syria, Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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