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Obama Waives Restrictions on Military Assistance to Foreign Forces in Syria

© REUTERS / Abdalrhman IsmailA man rides a bicycle past burning tyres, which activists said are used to create smoke cover from warplanes, in Aleppo, Syria August 1, 2016
A man rides a bicycle past burning tyres, which activists said are used to create smoke cover from warplanes, in Aleppo, Syria August 1, 2016 - Sputnik International
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President Barack Obama on Wednesday in a memorandum to the US Departments of State and Defense waived restrictions related to providing military assistance to foreign forces in Syria, according to a White House press release issued on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The assistance will include the provision of defense articles and services to forces allied with the United States, according to the release.

“I hereby…determine that the transaction, encompassing the provision of defense articles and services to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating ongoing US military operations to counter terrorism in Syria, is essential to the national security interests of the United States,” Obama said. “[I hereby] waive the prohibitions…related to such a transaction.”

Obama added that he thereby waives "the prohibitions… related to such a transaction."

Rebel fighters stand near a damaged bus used as a barricade in the rebel-held besieged Bab al-Hadid neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria December 2, 2016 - Sputnik International
State Department Says US Policy Against Arming Syrian Rebels Has Not Changed
Obama waived prohibitions outlined in the US Arms Export Control Act, which forbids providing defense-related supplies or services to countries that are not cooperating fully with US anti-terrorism efforts.

Earlier on Thursday, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau claimed that the US position against arming the Syrian opposition will not change even if government forces retake Aleppo.

The Syrian Army was in the process of retaking the remaining districts held by militants in southern Aleppo, a source told RIA Novosti.

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