France Boosts Aid to Syrian Rebel-Held Cities
France is providing direct financial and other support to rebel-held cities in Syria, according to diplomatic sources.
The European nation, which once was the colonial ruler of Israel's northeastern neighbor, officially intervened in the civil war last Friday.
Aid is being provided in the form of helping to restore water supplies, repair and re-establish schools and other essential services in five cities that were destroyed by government shelling.
However, France has stopped short of providing weapons, saying it will not arm the rebels without an international agreement.
Having increased its diplomatic contacts with the various rebel groups, France has urged the opposition to create a unified provisional government.
The international community has held back on providing significant assistance in part due to the difficulty of dealing with a fragmented opposition.