The United States has increased direct funding to rebel groups fighting in Damascus and southern Syria, ramping up pressure on president Bashar Al Assad after negotiations in Geneva ended in deadlock.

Last week, as the Syrian regime delegation in Switzerland vowed there would be “no concessions” to the opposition, US officials were handing over hundreds of thousands of dollars to Syrian rebel commanders in Jordan, according to opposition fighters.

“From now until the next round of talks in Geneva, Assad will be under real pressure — he will feel more pressure from opposition forces,” a rebel field commander cited a US official as saying. […]