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US, France announce more support for rebels in Syria

NEW YORK -- The United States and France announced increased support for opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday, but there was no sign that the direct military aid the rebels want to create safe havens for civilians is on the way.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a meeting of foreign ministers in New York that the United States would provide an additional US$45 million in non-lethal and humanitarian aid to the Syrian opposition.

Of this, US$30 million would be for humanitarian assistance and US$15 million for non-lethal help, such as radios and training. The new pledges pushed total U.S. humanitarian aid for Syria to more than US$130 million, and non-lethal aid to opposition groups to almost US$45 million.

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