Today, on the sixth anniversary of the start of the Syrian civil war, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, along with Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), members of the Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a Senate resolution condemning the Assad regime's blatant disregard for international law and human life and urging the Trump Administration to pursue a strategy that can help bring the brutal conflict to a peaceful conclusion. The resolution also denounces Iran and Russia for their political and military support of the Assad regime, and calls for protection of civilians and humanitarian workers.
"The Syrian civil war -- one of the world's worst humanitarian crises since World War II -- continues to be the most dangerous and destabilizing conflict in the Middle East today," Kaine said. "Six years in, Assad has created a safe haven for ISIL and Al Qaeda, while he commits unspeakable acts of violence against his own people. I hope this resolution serves as a stark reminder to the world that we must bring an end to this war and sends a message to the governments of Russia and Iran that the world is watching as they aid this authoritarian regime. We must work harder to protect innocent lives and support all efforts to restore peace to the region."
"It is heartbreaking that we have reached the sixth anniversary of the Syrian civil war. In the six years since the conflict began, more than 400,000 Syrians have been killed, half of the population has been driven from their homes, and 9.3 million people are in urgent need of assistance in what the United Nations has described as the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time. The Assad regime has relentlessly targeted its own citizens, including women and children, while Syrian and Russian forces have indiscriminately attacked hospitals and humanitarian convoys with precision-guided weapons in what clearly amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity. A comprehensive strategy is needed now more than ever to put an end to the horror, suffering and devastation in Syria. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrians living under siege literally depend on it," McCain said.
"Iran and Russia continue to support Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad's murderous campaign against his own people. These regimes are guilty of war crimes, and it is important for the United States to demonstrate moral clarity and denounce these acts of evil that have destabilized the region, given terrorists a foothold, and created countless of orphans, widows, and refugees. Members of both parties must work together with the Trump Administration to help end this bloody conflict," Rubio said.
"The civil war in Syria is one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our generation. Assad, aided by Russia and Iran, committed war crimes against his own people and gave ISIS and Al Qaeda a blank check for recruitment," said Murphy. "As we reach six years of this brutal war, the United States must work harder. It's well past time for Congress to do its constitutional duty and debate an authorization for the war against ISIL in Syria, and we must work with our international allies to combat terrorism, provide refuge for those fleeing danger, and put an end once and for all to this brutal war."
A copy of the resolution is available here