Obama authorizes new nonlethal aid to Syrian opposition

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday authorized up to 10 million U.S. dollars in fresh nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition. The president signed a presidential determination allowing his secretaries of state and defense to explore "the inventory and resources" of any federal government agency for the immediate provision of "nonlethal commodities and services" to the Syrian opposition coalition and its military wing.

He said he took the move as a result of "an unforeseen emergency" in Syria and in the security interests of the United States. The Obama administration has ruled out arming the Syrian opposition until now, for fear of weapons falling into hands of the Islamist militants fighting the government troops along with the Syrian rebels.

Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations - - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia, failed on Thursday to paper over differences over how to end the conflict in Syria, which has entered its third year and killed some 70,000 people. After meeting in London for two days, the ministers called for greater humanitarian assistance to those in need in Syria. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that body armor and night-vision goggles would be among broader nonlethal military aid to the Syrian opposition by the Obama administration.

Philippines News agency