Still, the USA move is a sign the administration is heeding President Trump's demand to end US involvement in Syria and reduce its commitment there.
There will be no global reconstruction funding for Syria until a "credible and irreversible" political process led by the United Nations is underway, a U.S. State Department official said Friday as the United States announced plans to redirect $230 million USA in frozen funding away from the civil war-torn country.
In the past, USA officials have repeatedly said their priority in Syria is the enduring defeat of the IS terror group, which according to the coalition has lost control over all but a few areas it previously held. The US government has not officially confirmed the reports.
Still, the move was seen as a sign the administration is heeding Trump's demand to end US involvement in Syria and reduce its commitment there.
"Since the start of this campaign against ISIS, our military campaign has been planned in close coordination with humanitarian and stabilization plans to follow on the military operations", McGurk said, using an acronym for the militant group. Most 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. Now Trump says the idea of paying for the stabilization of Syria is "ridiculous", at least for the US. A small fraction of that amount was released in June.
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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the United States has ended the development fund for Syria, urging "rich countries" to pay instead.
"This decision was made by the secretary, in consultation with the White House, and took into account the already significant military and financial contributions made by the United States to date, the president's guidance on the need to increase burden-sharing with allies and partners, and significant new pledges made by coalition partners", the statement read.
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. Jeffrey, who retired in 2012, also holds the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service: career ambassador.
That left $193.4 million in limbo that would have had to have been returned to the Treasury Department on September 30 at the end of this budget year if it had remained unspent.
Nauert further stated that the Friday's decision would not affect "life-saving, needs-based humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Syrians" or United States support for the White Helmets or UN-sponsored aid workers.