Rivers of Hope

  • A defected Syrian policeman, Adnan al-Hamod, 33, lights a kerosene lamp inside an underground shelter he made using a jackhammer to protect his family from Syrian government forces shelling and airstrikes, at Jirjanaz village, in Idlib province, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Across northern Syria, rebels, soldiers, and civilians are making use of the country's wealth of ancient and medieval antiquities to protect themselves from Syria's two-year-old war. They are built of thick stone that has already withstood centuries, and are often located in strategic locations overlooking towns and roads. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    View PhotoAssociated Press/Hussein Malla – A defected Syrian policeman, Adnan al-Hamod, 33, lights a kerosene lamp inside an underground shelter he made using a jackhammer to protect his family from Syrian government …more 

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  • Nihal, 9, puts olive tree branches inside a wooden stove at an underground Roman tomb which they use shelter from Syrian government forces shelling and airstrikes, at Jabal al-Zaweya, in Idlib province, Syria, Thursday Feb. 28, 2013. Across northern Syria, rebels, soldiers, and civilians are making use of the country's wealth of ancient and medieval antiquities to protect themselves from Syria's two-year-old war. They are built of thick stone that has already withstood centuries, and are often located in strategic locations overlooking towns and roads. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)View PhotoNihal, 9, puts olive tree branches …

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia said Friday that decision by Western nations to support the Syrian opposition in its battle to oust President Bashar Assad would only intensify the two-year conflict.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that moves announced in Rome on Thursday “in spirit and in letter directly encourage extremists to seize power by force, despite the inevitable sufferings of ordinary Syrians that entails.”

The Obama administration said it would provide non-lethal aid directly to Syrian rebels, while also announcing an additional $60 million in assistance to Syria‘s political opposition.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and senior officials from 11 other countries most active in…

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