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Gulf States Will Pay Syrian Rebels, Defectors

After an international conference in Turkey, the Syrian National Council said it will receive millions a month in funding from wealthy Gulf nations to pay Syrians who are either rebelling against or defecting from President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.

The BBC reports that the compromise decision by some 70 foreign governments stops short of arming the rebels:

BBC: An SNC leader told the BBC that she hoped more substantial funding would help bind the disparate units of the Free Syrian Army into a more coherent fighting force, and encourage other soldiers to defect from the government side.

Some countries at the conference – notably Saudi Arabia – have been openly calling for insurgents in Syria to be given weapons. But others – including the US and Turkey – oppose the move, fearing it could fuel an all-out civil war. Read more

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking from Istanbul on Sunday, outlined Washington’s commitments emerging from the conference, which include “additional sanctions on senior regime officials, a new accountability clearinghouse to train Syrian citizens to document atrocities and abuses and to identify perpetrators, and more than $12 million in new humanitarian aid, bringing our total to nearly 25 million.” — PZS

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