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US approves aid for Syrian rebels

US President Barack Obama has approved an aid package for Syria's rebels, a US official said on Friday. The package will include communications equipment and medical supplies.

"Consistent with our longstanding efforts to support the peaceful opposition in Syria, the US is providing non-lethal material assistance to the non-violent, political opposition," the official said.

"It's likely deliveries of this assistance will increase over time."

The aid package will include items requested by the opposition to help civilians in need and rebels to organise to fight the "brutality" of government forces, the official added.

Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor, said that the Syrian regime must do more to meet the conditions of the peace plan proposed by special envoy Kofi Annan.

"They need to pull their forces out of these cities. They need to respect the right of peaceful protest across Syria, they need to provide for humanitarian access and they need to demonstrate a commitment to a political transition that's responsive in the Syrian people."

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