Feb 08 2012
Tate Zeigler (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and John McCain (R-Arizona) today released this statement on the situation in Syria.
“The conflict in Syria is entering a critical new phase. Assad’s slaughter of people in Syria, including dozens more killed today, is only increasing and growing more ruthless. In Libya, the threat of imminent atrocities in Benghazi mobilized the world to act. Such atrocities are now a reality in Homs and other cities all across Syria. More than 6,000 lives have been lost, and there is no end in sight.
“The courage and resilience of the Syrian people over the past ten months defies comprehension. However, while tougher sanctions and the formation of an international contact group for Syria are welcome, the actions of the community of nations are increasingly divorced from the reality on the ground in Syria, which is becoming an armed conflict between forces loyal to Assad and the people of Syria. The backers of Assad in Russia, China, and Iran are doing their utmost to help him crush the Syrian opposition. The question for the international community, especially for the United States, is: are we equally committed to ensuring that Assad’s opponents emerge victorious in Syria?
“The bloodshed must be stopped, and we should rule out no option that could help to save lives. We must consider, among other actions, providing opposition groups inside Syria, both political and military, with better means to organize their activities, to care for the wounded and find safe haven, to communicate securely, to defend themselves, and to fight back against Assad’s forces. Regardless of what actions we take, they will be more effective if they are coordinated with our friends and allies in the European Union, Turkey, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
“The end of Assad’s rule would not only be a moral and humanitarian victory for the Syrian people; it would be a strategic defeat for the Iranian regime. The time has come when all options must be on the table to force Assad to leave power.”