US House Passes Bill Banning Aid for Assad-Controlled Syrian Territories

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Following a G7 ministerial summit in Toronto on Sunday, an anonymous state department official told reporters that the United States was not planning to provide any assistance to Syria in the areas, controlled by President Bashar al-Assad.

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill, ruling out any American reconstruction support to Assad-controlled territories in the war-weary country.

“It would be unconscionable for US Government funds to be used for stabilization or reconstruction in areas under control of the illegitimate Assad regime and its proxies. We are not going to support the building of infrastructure that will benefit Hezbollah, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, or foreign militias recruited and paid by the Iranian regime,” the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s statement read.

According to the legislation, the United States may “look at the prospect for assistance” if “the Government of Syria is no longer led by Bashar al-Assad and his proxies.”

This decision reiterates statements made by several high-ranking US officials, including the acting assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, David Satterfield, estimated that Syria would need around $200-$300 billion to rebuild the devastated country, and clarified that “the international community had committed itself not to provide that reconstruction assistance until those goals – constitutional reform, UN-supervised elections – are realized.”

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to “stand by” Syria in its reconstruction until the complete establishment of security and stability in the war-ravaged country.

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