WikiLeaks reveals U.S. funded Syrian opposition groups

Leaked cables reveal Washington has backed exile group since 2006

Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks to the Washington Post reveal that the U.S. government has been secretly funding Syrian opposition groups. The State Department has channeled up to $6 million to a Syrian exile organization, the Movement for Justice and Development, since 2006. The funds have been used primarily to operate Barada TV, which has recently stepped up coverage of anti-government protests in Syria. The cables reveal that the funding had been set aside at least until September 2010, and began after Washington’s ties with Damascus were frozen in 2005. But they also reveal that some U.S. diplomats questioned the decision to provide funding, saying that Damascus “would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change.” Anti-government protests calling for the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime erupted on March 15, and at least 200 people have been killed.

Al Jazeera English

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