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US pledges $74 million in 'non-lethal' help for Syria opposition

Published on Feb 28, 2013 9:39 PM

ROME (AFP) - The United States on Thursday pledged US$60 million (S$74 million) in "non-lethal" aid to rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime after talks with the opposition in Rome.

US media including The New York Times and Washington Post have reported that the "non-lethal" aid could include equipment such as vehicles, communications gear and night-vision goggles. The NYT also reported that a US mission training rebels at a base in the region was already under way.

In a grim reminder of the violence that has racked the country for two years, the announcement of aid came at the same time as news that a car bomb went off in a suburb of the flashpoint city of Homs, killing several people.

"The US will be providing an additional US$60 million in non-lethal assistance to support the efforts of the Syrian opposition coalition over the coming months," new US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

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