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In Support of the Syrian People

A Jordanian soldier helps Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their country after they crossed the border into Jordanian territory with their families from Syria into Jordan, near the town of Ramtha September 15, 2012. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tag

“We’re supporting civilian opposition groups as they begin providing essential services."

Conditions in Syria continue to deteriorate as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad relentlessly wages war on its own people. More bodies continue to fill hospitals and morgues, more refugees leave their homeland and flood into neighboring countries, said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in late September, at the opening session of the Friends of Syria group.

"It is no secret that our attempts to move forward at the United Nations Security Council have been blocked repeatedly,” she said. “But the United States is not waiting. We are taking new steps to meet the growing humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, to support the opposition as it moves toward an inclusive, democratic transition, and to further pressure and isolate the regime:”

“We’re supporting civilian opposition groups as they begin providing essential services – reopening schools, rebuilding homes, and the other necessities of life. Dedicated civil servants are working to preserve the institutions of the Syrian state while freeing them from the regime’s corrupt influence. In these places, we are seeing the emergence of a free Syria, and the United States is directing our efforts to support those brave Syrians who are laying the groundwork for a democratic transition from the ground up.”

Secretary Clinton announced an additional $30 million in aid to Syria, to help get food, water, blankets, and critical medical services to people suffering as a result of the conflict. Help will go to those most in need, regardless of their political affiliation, she said. The United States is also sending $15 million to support Syrian civilian opposition groups.

On the diplomatic front, the United States is increasing pressure on the Assad regime, deepening its isolation, and expanding sanctions against those who help the regime procure weapons and communications equipment, said Secretary Clinton.

“The United States is moving forward on all these fronts: providing humanitarian aid, supporting the civilian opposition, and increasing pressure on the regime. Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision,” said Secretary Clinton. “Our unity and resolve must not waver as we continue to do what we can to end the violence and bloodshed, and bring about a better day for the Syrian people.”