United States suspends $230 million budgeted for stabilization projects in Syria

Saudi Arabia to invest $100 million in SDF-held northeastern Syria

The US will end funding for stabilization efforts in Syria in another sign of President Donald Trump's intent to pull out of the long-running conflict.

People in northern Syria, the Foreign Ministry stresses in a statement, deserve much more in view of the hard conditions in which they live, and Saudi Arabia thus demonstrates its ‘clear obedience' to the US Administration. Russian Federation is not playing a role in the stabilization efforts.

According to White House officials, that money - which had been earmarked for supporting various rebel factions and civilian relief - will now be "shifted elsewhere".

"This decision does not represent any lessening of U.S. commitment to our strategic goals in Syria", Nauert said. However, groups like the White Helmets - who have been observed closely working with terrorist forces - will no longer receive USA funding. Almost all of that money, initially pledged by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February, had been on hold and under review since he was sacked in March.

As part of the move and to help oversee the transition, the administration is appointing veteran diplomat James Jeffrey as a special envoy to Syria.

The department's spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saudi Arabia had contributed $100 million and the United Arab Emirates had pledged $50 million toward the new funding.

The Saudi government has been directly responsible for funding numerous terrorist groups inside Syria as well as promoting a destabilization campaign against President Assad's government.

"In line with the president's request to review all global assistance, we continually reevaluate appropriate assistance levels and how best they might be utilized, which we do on an ongoing basis", the agency continued. But the move is a sign that the Trump administration is moving to reduce the US footprint in the country. In May, the State Department announced that it had ended all funding for stabilization programs in Syria's northwest.

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