CORKER: RUSSIAN AIRSTRIKES EXACERBATING HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN SYRIA
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Requests Testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry on Syrian Crisis Next Week
WASHINGTON – After making a request for Secretary of State John Kerry to testify on Syria next week, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on Russia’s airstrikes in Syria that U.S. officials believe did not target ISIS fighters:
“In the absence of leadership from the Obama administration, Putin continues to do what he wishes fearing no pushback from the United States, and now Russia is conducting air strikes that are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.Bob Corker (TN), U.S. Senate
“In the absence of leadership from the Obama administration, Putin continues to do what he wishes fearing no pushback from the United States, and now Russia is conducting air strikes that are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis,” said Corker. “The failure to respond effectively to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II is a blight on us and other western nations.”
“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has requested Secretary of State John Kerry testify next week to explain the administration’s Syria strategy to Congress and the American people,” added Corker. “Until we are prepared to take steps to address the root cause of this crisis – the Assad regime – we will continue to see dangerous consequences in the region that will impact our allies and our security interests.”
In 2013, Senator Corker sponsored legislation to arm and train a vetted Syrian opposition force when the Obama administration did not support such a policy. He also led Senate Foreign Relations Committee passage of a limited authorization for the use of military force in Syria that year after President Obama sought congressional approval for military strikes against the Assad regime for its use of chemical weapons. The administration instead chose to pursue an agreement with Russia for the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons. Since then, the Assad regime has continued to kill civilians with barrel bombs, some containing chlorine gas, while retaining a secret stockpile of chemical weapons.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is conducting a series of hearings over the next several weeks on the U.S. role and strategy in the Middle East.