US raises $300 million from allies for Syria stabilisation


On Friday, the USA administration said it will not be spending $200 million that had been planned for Syria stabilization efforts, citing successful efforts to get other countries to step up their contributions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had "redirected" the funds after coalition partners committed $300 million of their own, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on August 17.

Major contributions from other countries led to the decision to shift the money "to support other key foreign policy priorities", according to the state department.

The source stressed that the support provided by Saudi authorities to the US-led coalition "is morally unacceptable as it being offered to prevent the Syrian Arab Army from achieving further victories over terrorism in northern Syria, an exposed attempt to prolong the crisis and support the forces that threaten Syria's unity and territorial integrity".

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday announced that the United States's decision to end the "ridiculous" development fund for Syria and urged the "rich countries" to pay instead.

Nauert also stated that in a bid to reassure coalition partners and other opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Pompeo appointed veteran diplomatic troubleshooter, James Jeffrey, to be a special envoy for Syria.

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The Saudi Embassy described the $100 million as part of a pledge made by Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a USA -sponsored conference in Brussels about the Islamic State group in July at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters.

Trump froze the $230 million in March, threatening to withdraw United States forces from Syria, subject to a review to reassess Washington's role in the brutal seven-year-old conflict.

USA officials insisted that Washington's efforts would be focussed on defeating Islamic State in Syria.

Yet Friday's funding cut is the latest Trump administration financial retreat from Syria. "The focus is on the enduring fight against ISIS", said McGurk.

"This decision does not represent any lessening of USA commitment to our strategic goals in Syria", Nauert said.

This contribution is a continuum of the Kingdom's efforts in this Coalition, including, but not limited to, co-leading the Counter Finance Working Group and serving as a key member of the Communications and Stabilisation Working Groups, as well as, flying the second highest number of missions in Syria after the United States. "I want to develop the USA, our military and countries that help us!"