Mar 13 2018

U.S. CENTCOM Commander General Votel Confirms To Graham: Iran, Russia 'Key Enablers' Of Assad

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) questioned the Commander of U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel on the United States’ lack of strategy to combat Iran and Russia’s influence in Syria during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.  

Background: The Most Unnerving Visit to the Middle East in a Long Time by Senator Lindsey Graham


GRAHAM: “Is Iran helping Assad?”
VOTEL: “Iran has been a key enabler of the regime for a while.”
GRAHAM: “Is Russia helping Assad?”
VOTEL: “They are also a key enabler of the regime.”
GRAHAM: “Is it too strong a statement to say that with Russia and Iran’s help, Assad has won the civil war in Syria?”
VOTEL: “I don’t think that is too strong of a statement.”
GRAHAM: “What does it mean if Iran and Russia and Assad have won in Syria? What does it mean to us and to the region?”
VOTEL: “It means that we will contend with this influence of Iran in this particular area and with the influence of Russia.”
GRAHAM: “What does it mean to Israel?”
VOTEL: “Well, certainly from an Iranian standpoint it means that Iran could be in a position where they could support Lebanese Hezbollah better and then pose a greater threat to Israel.”