Free Syrian army fighters (Reuters/Zain Karam)
The Obama administration said Thursday that it will provide the Syrian opposition with an additional $60 million in assistance and — in a significant policy shift — will for the first time provide nonlethal aid like food and medical supplies to rebels battling to oust President Bashar Assad.
"We need to stand on the side of those who want to see a free Syria," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said. "The stakes are really high and we can't risk letting this country in the heart of the Mideast being destroyed by vicious autocrats."
Kerry announced the new support and the decision to back the rebel fighters on the sidelines of an international conference on Syria in Rome, where European and Arab nations also signaled their intention to provide fresh assistance to the opposition.
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