Nations pledge $10B to refugees

World leaders pledged more than $10 billion Thursday to help fund schools, shelter and jobs for refugees from Syria’s civil war, money that British Prime Minister David Cameron said “will give people the chance of a future.” But participants at the aid conference acknowledged that prospects for ending the conflict have rarely been worse. “The situation in Syria is as close to hell as we are likely to find on this Earth,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Saudis are ready to send troops

A Saudi military spokesman said the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to fight ISIL provided coalition leaders agree during an upcoming meeting in Brussels. Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri told the Associated Press that Saudi Arabia has taken part in coalition airstrikes against ISIL since the U.S.-led campaign began in September 2014, but could now provide ground troops. He didn’t elaborate on how many troops the kingdom would send.

Another Wave of migrants looms

In what could unleash a new wave of refugees into Europe, Turkey said Thursday that hundreds of thousands of Syrians are ready to flee the country in the face of a northern offensive by government forces. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said as many as 70,000 Syrians were already on their way to Turkey from Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about 40,000 people have fled in the past few days.

News services