Obama seeks $500mn to train, equip Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama called on Congress Thursday to approve $500 million to train and equip the “moderate Syrian opposition” battling the forces of strongman President Bashar al-Assad.

In its overseas contingency operations request to Congress, the White House proposed the funding for “vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services, counter terrorist threats, and promote conditions for a negotiated settlement.”