US frees up fraction of frozen Syria funds - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

US frees up fraction of frozen Syria funds

President Trump authorized $6.6 million in support of the White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense organization. (Source: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP) President Trump authorized $6.6 million in support of the White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense organization. (Source: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

By MATTHEW LEE
AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration on Thursday freed up a fraction of some $200 million in frozen funds for Syria stabilization programs, a move that leaves nearly $195 million in limbo.

The State Department said President Donald Trump had authorized it and the U.S. Agency for International Development to spend $6.6 million to support the White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense organization, and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism, a U.N. agency that is investigating war crimes committed during the conflict. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that the money was for "the continuation of the vital, life-saving operations" of the White Helmets and to help the U.N. ensure those responsible for war crimes "are ultimately held accountable."

Her statement made no mention of the remaining $193.4 million that remains frozen, and officials could not say whether a decision had been made to eliminate it all together.

Trump has vowed to end the U.S. presence in Syria as soon as the fight against the Islamic State group is complete and has demanded that other donors contribute to reconstruction efforts.

Last month, the State Department announced that it had ended all funding for stabilization programs in Syria's northwest. Islamic State militants have been almost entirely eliminated from that region, which is controlled by a hodgepodge of other extremist groups and Syrian President Bashar Assad's government forces.

The $200-million pledge was made by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February. Tillerson, who had advocated for maintaining a robust U.S. presence in Syria, was fired shortly after he made the pledge at a donors' conference in Kuwait.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • National politicsPolitics in the US: ImmigrationMore>>

  • Guatemalan man recalls fear, agony of separation from child

    Guatemalan man recalls fear, agony of separation from child

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:43 PM EDT2018-06-20 18:43:36 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:06 PM EDT2018-06-21 03:06:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer). Romulo Gonzalez Rodriguez and his 3-year-old daughter Genesis hug during a interview Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Provo, Utah. Gonzalez Rodriguez spoke about the anguish of being separated from his 3-year-old daughter, Genesis Gon...(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer). Romulo Gonzalez Rodriguez and his 3-year-old daughter Genesis hug during a interview Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Provo, Utah. Gonzalez Rodriguez spoke about the anguish of being separated from his 3-year-old daughter, Genesis Gon...
    A Guatemalan man who fled his country to seek asylum after he was kidnapped and extorted says he lived through anguish when was separated from his then 2-year-old daughter for seven days at the U.S.-Mexico border...More >>
    A Guatemalan man who fled his country to seek asylum after he was kidnapped and extorted says he lived through anguish when was separated from his then 2-year-old daughter for seven days at the U.S.-Mexico border last Thanksgiving.More >>
  • At least 3 "tender age" shelters set up for child migrants

    At least 3 "tender age" shelters set up for child migrants

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 9:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 01:12:25 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:06 PM EDT2018-06-21 03:06:07 GMT
    Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>
  • Judge disputes California aimed to hinder border enforcement

    Judge disputes California aimed to hinder border enforcement

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:42 AM EDT2018-06-20 06:42:36 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:05 PM EDT2018-06-21 03:05:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File). FILE - In this April 14, 2017, file photo, protesters hold up signs outside a courthouse where a federal judge was to hear arguments in the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's executive order to withhold fun...(AP Photo/Haven Daley, File). FILE - In this April 14, 2017, file photo, protesters hold up signs outside a courthouse where a federal judge was to hear arguments in the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's executive order to withhold fun...
    California has sued the Trump administration more than half a dozen times over its immigration policies, so the state will find itself in an unusual position when it's forced to defend its own immigration moves in...More >>
    California has sued the Trump administration more than half a dozen times over its immigration policies, so the state will find itself in an unusual position when it's forced to defend its own immigration moves in court.More >>
Powered by Frankly