Statement of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy in Support of U.S. Assistance to Syrian Rebels


Date: Sept. 17, 2014
Issues: Foreign Aid

"Today, I voted to allow the U.S. Military to train and equip vetted, moderate Syrian rebels outside of Syria to help them counter ISIL and other terrorist groups and help the Syrian opposition control land. The bill is narrowly crafted with layers of Congressional oversight and only authorizes specific activities until December 11, 2014, when the Continuing Resolution runs out.

"This is a difficult and complex foreign policy challenge for the president and for America. There are serious long-term concerns about training and arming any group fighting in the turbulent Middle East. However, I believe that this effort to fight ISIL in Syria and Iraq is in our nation's interest and I support the president's plan.

"The president has outlined a plan that will degrade the threat from ISIL. I believe that the president has the judgment necessary to execute this plan and I am hopeful that we can thwart ISIL and lessen the threat this group poses to people in Iraq and Syria and to people around the world.

"Here in New York, we can never forget the horror of 9/11. We must continually watch the horizon and be on alert for threats. ISIL is such a threat. The effort to fight terrorist groups is on-going and often calls for hard choices. This effort to train and equip the Free Syrian Army is one such hard choice.

"I am hopeful that this effort will succeed. This strategy will not only require strong American leadership, but also an ongoing commitment from our allies. The Administration has already built a coalition of nearly forty countries, including Arab Nations, who have pledged support to help combat the threat from ISIL. Together we can lessen the danger we all face from international terrorism."