Gulf fund's problems highlight Syria aid challenge

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By BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Syrian opposition members and international officials say Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Arab Gulf states have yet to start distributing money from a multimillion-dollar fund designed to prop up Syria's anti-regime rebellion and entice defections from President Bashar Assad's army.

The challenges facing the fund underscore the larger problem involved with providing aid of any kind to the Syrian rebellion.

It was created two weeks ago amid disagreement among the U.S. and its Arab partners on arming Syrian rebels.

But officials say several million dollars per month in salaries and logistical support cannot go forward without monitoring.

And with the opposition holding no territory and struggling even to maintain communications among its members inside and outside Syria, there is no clear way to deliver the money.

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