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Congress uses Syria aid funding as Assad leverage

As the war in Syria cools down, the cold war to fund Syria’s reconstruction projects is heating up and Washington is hoping to use US assistance as economic leverage to force political concessions from Damascus.

Despite the Syrian opposition’s failure to oust President Bashar al-Assad militarily, Congress hopes that it can use US reconstruction dollars as leverage to force a political transition in Syria by ensuring that funds are only available for rebel-held areas. 

Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unveiled the No Assistance for Assad Act, which would bar the Donald Trump administration from using nonhumanitarian US assistance funds for Syria’s reconstruction in areas held by the Assad regime.

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