US planning aid to Libyan opposition
The United States is planning to provide the Libyan opposition with 25 million dollars in aid and non-lethal assistance as it continues to resist leader Moamer Gaddafi's forces, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday.
The aid is the first direct help from the United States after weeks of consultations with the oppositional Benghazi-based Transitional National Council, which controls most of eastern Libya, to assess its needs, dpa reported.
The aid will include medical supplies, uniforms and boots, personal protection gear, radios and food, Clinton said.
"It is important to point out that this opposition, which has held its own against the brutal assault by the Gaddafi forces, was not an organized militia, was not a group that had been planning to oppose the rule of Gaddafi for years" Clinton said. "It was a spontaneous response within the context of the broader Arab spring."
The assistance was consistent with a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the protection of civilians and for providing humanitarian support but would not be a "blank check," Clinton said.
The Transitional National Council has also requested help in the form of weapons. The US has not determined whether to provide arms.