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Shaheen, SFRC Senators Mark 10th Anniversary of the Syrian Uprising with Bipartisan Resolution

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), joined SFRC Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID) and eight of their SFRC colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution in observance of the 10th anniversary of the Syrian uprising.  

In addition to calling on the United States to support humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, the resolution condemns the Assad regime’s atrocities against its own citizens and reaffirms the United States’ commitment to hold the regime and its backers accountable for their war crimes and crimes against humanity. The resolution also lauds Syrian human rights defenders’ brave efforts to document and expose the Assad regime’s unrelenting and indiscriminate violence.

“This resolution demonstrates the bipartisan commitment in the Senate in support of the Syrian people, who have endured more trials and tribulations than most can bear to imagine,” said Shaheen. “For ten years, innocent civilians have been starved, tortured, murdered, driven from their homes and have experienced incalculable loss. Yet despite these immense sufferings, our world bore witness to the remarkable bravery of Syrians who fought back against Assad’s barbaric military assaults and risked their lives to drive ISIS terrorists from their land. I was fortunate enough to visit Syria and meet some of these extraordinary men and women who overcame immeasurable adversity to reclaim their home and seek justice for their people. This anniversary is a reminder of what is still at stake in Syria – the futures and freedoms of the Syrian people. Bringing this conflict to an end, holding perpetrators to account and implementing lasting peace must continue to be a U.S. national security policy priority.”

Joining Shaheen, Menendez and Risch in introducing the resolution were Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Ben Cardin (D-MD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE).

Senator Shaheen is a leader on U.S. policy in Syria. In 2018, Senator Shaheen travelled with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to Turkey to meet with President Erdogan, and northeast Syria where she met with Arab and Kurdish leaders and visited SDF-controlled detention facilities holding thousands of ISIS prisoners. Shaheen established the Syria Study Group, which was signed into law in 2018. The Syria Study Group released its final report with recommendations for U.S. policy in 2019. Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation, led by Senators Graham and Van Hollen (D-MD), to levy sanctions against Turkey following its incursion into northeast Syria. Shaheen also cosponsored bipartisan legislation led by Senators Menendez and Risch that would require the administration to produce a strategy defending U.S. hard-fought gains against ISIS and prevent an ISIS resurgence in Syria and Iraq. It would also authorize humanitarian assistance for Syrian civilians, restrict arm sales to Turkey and impose new biting sanctions against Turkey and Russia. The legislation also included a Shaheen provision creating a new ISIS detainee coordinator position, which Shaheen ultimately included in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law in December 2019.

Find a copy of the resolution here.