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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UK Donates $5 Million to Syrian Civil Defence

Sputnik News

20:18 03.03.2015

The UK Government is to supply Syria with more than $5 million of civil defence equipment, including personal protective gear such as helmets and goggles, stretchers, medicines and medical supplies, radios, firefighting equipment and 4x4 vehicles.

An estimated 200,000 people have been killed since the war began four years ago, many of them civilians. The UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the UK 'remains committed to doing all it can to promote a political settlement to end the conflict, to alleviate the humanitarian suffering, and to protect UK national security through countering terrorist and extremist threats'.

Funding Terrorism?

The programme is expected to cost £10 million and will be funded through the UK Government's Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF).

He said the use of CSSF funds to cover the costs of the gift has been approved by members of the Middle East and North Africa Strategic Programme Board from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence.

However, the move is controversial, in that it is uncertain where the equipment will end up. Hammond said that the gift has been 'scrutinised to ensure that the provision of this equipment is consistent with export controls and complies with our international obligations'.

'Recipients have been carefully selected to prevent equipment being given to those involved in extremist activities or human rights violations.'

'All our assistance is carefully calibrated and legal, aimed at alleviating human suffering and supporting moderate groups, and is regularly monitored and evaluated,' he said.


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