September 29, 2012 - 15:07 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The United States warned Iran to stop providing arms to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad even as it announced millions of dollars in non-lethal support for the opposition attempting to oust the government, CNN reported.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on neighboring countries of Syria to take steps to prevent their land and airspace from being used by Iran to transport weapons to al-Assad's forces.
"The regime's most important lifeline is Iran," Clinton told reporters Friday, Sept 28, at a gathering of the Friends of Syria, an ad hoc group meeting in the shadow of the UN General Assembly.
Clinton's warning followed an admission, according to Iranian state-run media reports, by the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard that its elite Qud Force was operating inside Syria but not involved directly in military action.
"There is no longer any doubt that Tehran will do whatever it takes to protect its proxy and crony in Damascus," she said.
At the meeting, Clinton announced the United States was donating $15 million in non-lethal support to unarmed Syrian opposition groups, bringing the total U.S. aid for the opposition to nearly $45 million.
The latest donation "translates into more than 1,100 sets of communications equipment, including satellite-linked computers, telephones, and cameras, as well as training for more than 1,000 activists, students, and independent journalists," she said.
The United States also is donating an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance, primarily in the form of food, water and medical supplies, Clinton said.