Saudi Arabia pledges $100 mln to rebuild Syria’s northeast


President Donald Trump said in March that his country will withdraw its troops in Syria "very soon", at odds with the statement of Pentagon spokesperson Dana White on the same day that "important work remains to guarantee the lasting defeat of these violent extremists" in the Middle East country.

Syria's Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Friday condemned Saudi Arabia's support for the country's Kurdish-held northeastern areas, the main operating base for the US-led worldwide coalition against Islamic State (IS).

An official source at the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry told SANA, "The Saudi authorities, who are plotters against the interests of the Arab nation, have pledged United States dollars 100 million to the global coalition led by Washington, in defiance of the UN Security Council resolutions related to the crisis in Syria".

"The United States is the largest single country humanitarian donor for the Syria response, providing almost $8.1 billion in humanitarian assistance since the start of the crisis for those displaced inside Syria and the region", the statement said.

The bulk of the amount was pledged earlier this year under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The Trump administration is ending funding for Syria stabilization projects as it moves to extricate itself from the conflict.

WASHINGTON-The State Department terminated its $230 million commitment to stabilization efforts in Syria, saying Friday it will instead rely on contributions from Saudi Arabia and other allies.

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.

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President Donald Trump whispers with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Washington.

For example, he said, potable water supplies have been restored to all 26 districts of Raqa, which was devastated in the campaign to oust ISIS fighters.

"The president has made clear that we are prepared to remain in Syria until the enduring defeat of ISIS, and we remain focused on ensuring the withdrawal of Iranian forces and their proxies", Nauert said, using a different acronym for the terrorist group.

Consequently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has authorized the department to "redirect" the USA funding, following a monthslong review of the spending plans.

She further insisted that "this decision does not represent any lessening of United States commitment to our strategic goals in Syria". In May, the State Department announced that it had ended all funding for stabilization programs in Syria's northwest.

The United States has been aiding a military campaign in Syria which had taken back much of the territory once occupied by the militant group.

Last month, the US helped to organize the evacuation through Israel of White Helmet workers from Syria's south, where Assad's Russian-backed forces launched a new offensive despite a de-escalation agreement between Washington and Moscow.

Syrian foreign ministry slammed Saudi authorities as "plotters against the interests of the Arab nation", stressing that the Saudi support is in defiance of the UN Security Council resolutions related to the crisis in Syria.