U.S. Aid to Syrian Rebels Takes Congress by Surprise

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On Thursday, at the Friends of Syria Conference in Rome, Secretary of State John Kerry abruptly reversed U.S. policy on Syria.

Much to the surprise of Members of the U.S. Congress—and possibly of the members of the Syrian opposition as well—Kerry announced that the U.S. will be supplying $60 million in food and medical supplies to the rebels fighting the brutal civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The measure is likely to please neither Congress (which has been relentlessly brow-beaten by the White House over sequestration and budget cuts) nor the Syrian rebels, who want arms, not food, and in fact threatened to boycott the Rome conference out of frustration.

Republican lawmakers in Washington are deeply dismayed over the secrecy and the disservice done by the White House and the State Department to Congress. Some of them told The Hill they weren’t briefed ahead of Kerry’s announcement.

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