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Obama seeks $500 million from Congress to help moderate Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama, under pressure from some lawmakers for greater US backing for Syria's opposition, on Thursday asked the US Congress approve $500 million to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels seeking to oust President Bashar Assad.

 

A White House statement said rebels would be vetted before being given assistance, in an effort to assuage concerns that some equipment provided to the Syrian opposition might ultimately fall into the hands of US enemies.

  

Obama's request for $500 million followed through on a promise he made in late May in a foreign policy speech that he would "ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators." (Reuters)