An international coalition gathered in Istanbul to address the situation in Syria has decided today that it will begin funding rebels and providing them with communications equipment. The multi-million-dollar fund, backed by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countires, will pay members of the Free Syrian Army in their efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. They also hope to lure away defectors from his army with the money.
At a stump speech at the 70-nation Friends of Syria summit, Hillary Clinton warned of "serious consequences" if al-Assad does not adhere to Kofi Annan's cease-fire plan, MSNBC reports: "Nearly a week has gone by, and we have to conclude that the regime is adding to its long list of broken promises," she said. Clinton also pledged another $12 million to the cause, bringing the total amount of U.S. aid spent on the Syrian rebellion to $25 million.
Annan's plan, which al-Assad agreed to last week, calls for a cease-fire, humanitarian aid for Syrian citizens, and a democratic political referendum. There have been daily reports of violence since.