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Syrian opposition gets boost from Obama administration

The State Department received some praise from Capitol Hill after upgrading the Syrian opposition's status and releasing an additional $27 million in nonlethal assistance.
An anti-Assad protester carries the Syrian freedom flag in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 9,  2013.  White House efforts to convince the U.S. Congress to back military action against Syria are not only failing, they seem to be stiffening the opposition. That was the assessment on Sunday, not of an opponent but of an early and ardent Republican supporter of Obama's plan for attacking Syria, the influential Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers. Congress will

The Obama administration on Monday granted "foreign mission status" to the Western-backed Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC)'s Washington offices and announced the release of $27 million in nonlethal aid to rebel forces, bringing the total US commitment to $287 million.

The move was timed with the first official visit of coalition President Ahmad Jarba and earned some praise from Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers of both parties have grown increasingly frustrated at the administration's reluctance to get involved more deeply in the three-year conflict. 

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