UK Halting Support to Opposition in Syria’s Rebel-Controlled Areas – Government

The United Kingdom is halting financial support to opposition forces in Syria’s rebel-controlled areas due to the low efficiency of such programs, the UK government’s spokesperson said on Monday.

“As the situation on the ground in some regions has become increasingly difficult we have reduced support for some of our non-humanitarian programming, but continue to deliver vital support to help those most in need and to improve security and stability in the country,” the spokesperson said as quoted by The Times newspaper.

According to the news outlet, the UK Foreign Office and Department for International Development decided that the aid programs to northwest Syria were not sustainable as the military conflict in the country was drawing to a close and the remaining opposition-controlled areas were gradually being taken over by jihadists.

The attempts to form independent police force in Syria will be ceased in September, while the financing of local self-governing bodies in the country is likely to be halted by the end of the current fiscal year, the newspaper added.

The decision to cut off funding will not affect the White Helmets non-governmental organization and medical aid, The Times indicated.

The military conflict has been ongoing in Syria since March 2011. The settlement of the conflict is being discussed in various formats such as Astana and Geneva peace talks and, most recently, the National Dialogue Congress for Syria in Russia’s Sochi, which for the first time brought together a wide spectrum of the country’s different political forces. The Congress’ main outcome was the decision on the establishment of the Syrian constitutional commission, which will be headquartered in Geneva.


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