Politics

Obama pledges $195M more in humanitarian and food aid to Syria

Aug 7, 2013: President Barack Obama waves from the door of Air Force One for his return to Washington, after a two-day swing through Southern California, at Los Angeles International Airport.

Aug 7, 2013: President Barack Obama waves from the door of Air Force One for his return to Washington, after a two-day swing through Southern California, at Los Angeles International Airport.  (AP)

President Barack Obama says the U.S. is providing an additional $195 million in humanitarian and food aid to Syria.

That means the U.S. has now sent more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid since the 2-year-old Syrian civil war started.

Obama is timing the new aid to coincide with Eid al-Fitr (ayd ahl-FIH'-tur), a holiday marking the end of Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting.

Obama says many Americans have celebrated Ramadan with Muslims. He says millions in Syria are displaced and that the U.S. wants to help.

The humanitarian aid follows recent approval of a U.S. aid package of weapons to Syrian rebels aimed at reversing recent battlefield gains by President Bashar Assad.

The White House issued the statement Wednesday while Obama was traveling in California.