New Non-Lethal Assistance for the Syrian Opposition

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC
March 13, 2015

As Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced today at an event marking the fourth anniversary of the Syrian revolution, the U.S. Department of State is working with Congress to provide nearly $70 million in new non-lethal assistance. Deputy Secretary Blinken told Syrian opposition and Syrian-American participants in the event that with this additional funding, the United States will have committed nearly $400 million in assistance that supports the Syrian opposition since the start of the revolution.

This new non-lethal assistance includes:

  • Nearly $30 million to continue and enable the opposition and local governance structures inside Syria to provide basic services and governance to their communities, as well as ongoing support for civil defense workers who play a critical role in emergency first response in Syria.
  • $25 million in non-lethal support to vetted units of the armed opposition to help enhance their operational capabilities as they seek to protect their communities from the duel threat posed by the Asad regime and extremist groups.
  • Digital security training and tools to keep activists, civil society members, journalists, and other opposition actors safe as they seek to network with each other and share information, including about regime and other atrocities.

Support for the documentation of war crimes, human rights violations, and abuses by the Syrian regime, as well as armed and extremist groups in Syria, in order to facilitate accountability. Looking ahead, these efforts will help inform future reconciliation initiatives and engender a lasting peace.