Trump freezes funds for Syria recovery – newspaper

WASHINGTON, US President Donald Trump froze over USD 200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria “as his administration reassesses Washington’s broader role in the protracted conflict there,” the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper said, according to US officials that “the White House ordered the State Department to put the spending on hold.” This comes following a speech Trump gave in Ohio during which he praised military advances against the so-called Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and announcing “we’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon… Let the other people take care of it now.” According to reports, “the State Department last year spent USD 200 million on stabilization work in Syria, including removing unexploded weapons and restoring water, power and electricity, and an additional USD 225 million in funds was designated this year.

“The freezing of some or all of those funds, plus the additional spending promised last month, could cause existing programs to halt,” US officials told the newspaper.

Source: Kuwait News Agency