US frees up fraction of frozen Syria funds - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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>>

  • Mattis to visit China as Taiwan, S. China Sea tensions rise

    Mattis to visit China as Taiwan, S. China Sea tensions rise

    Saturday, June 23 2018 9:35 PM EDT2018-06-24 01:35:09 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-06-24 12:34:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). In this Wednesday, June 20, 2018, file photo, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, center, steps away after speaking with the media at the Pentagon. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation ...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). In this Wednesday, June 20, 2018, file photo, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, center, steps away after speaking with the media at the Pentagon. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation ...
    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is visiting Beijing this week against the background of growing tensions over Taiwan, China's militarization of South China Sea and expanding overseas presence of the People's...More >>
    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is visiting Beijing this week against the background of growing tensions over Taiwan, China's militarization of South China Sea and expanding overseas presence of the People's Liberation Army.More >>
  • Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

    Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

    Sunday, June 24 2018 3:55 AM EDT2018-06-24 07:55:09 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-06-24 12:34:06 GMT
    (MENA via AP). In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 photo, provided by Egypt's state news agency, MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, meets with President Donald  Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, second left, and Mide...(MENA via AP). In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 photo, provided by Egypt's state news agency, MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, meets with President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, second left, and Mide...

    Any peace plan would face major obstacles, including the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, internal Palestinian divisions, and recent cross-border violence between Gaza's Hamas rulers and Israel.

    More >>

    Any peace plan would face major obstacles, including the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, internal Palestinian divisions, and recent cross-border violence between Gaza's Hamas rulers and Israel.

    More >>
  • Administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

    Administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:26:10 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 8:33 AM EDT2018-06-24 12:33:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...

    The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    More >>

    The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly