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US steps up support for moderate Syrian forces

The US administration of President Barack Obama has asked for funds to increase support for moderate opposition forces in Syria.

The Obama administration presented a draft budget to Congress on Thursday for overseas military operations in the next fiscal year. The request includes 500 million dollars for training and arms for moderate insurgents in Syria.

The Defense Department plans to provide equipment, supplies, training and defense services to elements of the Syrian opposition that have been screened.
The Department will openly launch such a mission for the first time.

The US administration is calling for the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It has engaged in a covert operation to train and provide equipment to the moderate opposition and has supplied non-lethal assistance.

Militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are fighting the moderate opposition forces in Syria.

They also seized Iraq's second largest city of Mosul earlier this month and are trying to overthrow the Shia-dominated government.

US military advisors have already arrived in Iraq to support government troops in their fight against the militants.

Jun. 27, 2014 - Updated 05:33 UTC