ISTANBUL – U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden announced on Saturday nearly $135 million in humanitarian aid to help feed civilians affected by Syria’s war.
Speaking in Istanbul, Biden said the money will raise the amount of aid the U.S. has provided to more than $3 billion since Syria’s crisis began.
Meanwhile, about 300 people protested visit to Turkey, chanting: “Biden get out. This country is ours.” The demonstration occurred on the European side of Istanbul, as Biden was on his way to a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Asian side of the city.
Biden didn’t see the protest, which was organized by the Youth Association of Turkey, the same group that roughed up three U.S. Navy sailors while chanting “Yankee, go home!” a week ago in Istanbul.
The protesters threw red paint at the sailors and briefly succeeded in putting white sacks over their heads. The servicemen, who were not hurt, were from the USS Ross, a guided-missile destroyer then docked on an inlet of the Bosphorus Strait in the Black Sea.
The new funding that Biden described at a news conference will help feed vulnerable people inside Syria; Syrian refugees in Turkey; and Syrian refugees in other neighbouring countries. Turkey is now hosting an estimated 1.6 million refugees from Syria.
More than 190,000 Syrians from Kobani, a Syrian town near the border, fled to Turkey in recent weeks.