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US says it will allow money to be sent to Syrian opposition forces, exempting them from sanctions

Last modified: 15 Mar 2013 20:31

The US government said Friday it would allow American citizens, companies and banks to send money to Syrian opposition forces struggling to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

The Treasury Department move exempts Syrian rebels from broad US sanctions against aid to Syria imposed at the beginning of the 2-year-old government crackdown on opposition forces that has killed an estimated 70,000 people.

"The United States is committed to supporting the Syrian people's aspirations for a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, inclusive, and peaceful Syria," said the Treasury Department, which controls financial sanctions. "The Syrian government has sacrificed all legitimacy in its violent attempts to cling to power."

Treasury said it would continue to put economic pressure on Assad's government through other financial sanctions, as well as targeted sanctions on Syrian government officials and their supporters.

- Reuters