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    European Commission to Increase Aid to Syria by €215 Million

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    The European Commission will step up its help to Syria and neighboring countries by providing an additional 215 million euro for war relief, said a statement published on the Commission's official website on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - The European Commission will step up its help to Syria and neighboring countries by providing an additional 215 million euro for war relief, said a statement published on the Commission's official website on Tuesday.

    "The European Commission is increasing its aid to Syria and neighboring countries by €215 million . . . The new funding includes €50 million in humanitarian aid and €165 million to support longer-term development," the statement said.

    According to the Commission, the aid "will provide relief inside and outside Syria" and "help respond to the needs of the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to Turkey in recent days, the largest wave of displacement since the beginning of the conflict".

    Some 130,000 Syrians crossed the border to Turkey in just three days, fleeing an advance of Islamic State militants, Turkish authorities informed on Monday.

    The Syrian crisis has become the largest humanitarian and security disaster in the world, the European Commission stated.

    An armed conflict has been ongoing in Syria since March 2011 and has claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 people, according to the United Nations. Syrian government troops are fighting militants belonging to different armed groups. The most active is the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The extremist group extended its attacks to the northern and western regions of Iraq in early June. IS has seized vast territories in both countries and declared an Islamic caliphate in the regions under its control.

    According to UN estimates, some 6.45 million people are internally displaced in Syria and some 10.8 are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the ongoing crisis.

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