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Washington DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations released the following statement on chemical weapons in Syria:

“Mounting evidence of chemical weapons underscores the imperative that the United States stand with the people of Syria during this critical period. The fall of Assad is not only good for Syria, but will deal a significant blow to Iran and Hezbollah. Degrading the destructive power of Iran and Hezbollah is in the national security interests of the United States and Bashar al -Assad is a key link between them.  I believe that a political transition to a government that reflects the will of the Syrian people is in the core interests of the United States in the region.  I have made the case consistently that the U.S. should lead efforts to support the moderate Syrian opposition.  I have also said that the U.S. should consider measures that would hamper the ability of the Syrian Air Force to conduct aerial attacks on civilians.  The administration should also examine and assess other ways in which the Syrian Air Force can be deterred and degraded including the use of surface-to-surface tomahawk missiles to degrade the Syrian air force on the ground”  [Foreign Policy   2/27/13]

In March, Senators Casey and Rubio offered legislation that could offer a path forward.  Since that time, several senators have cosponsored the measure including Senators Kirk, Coons, Levin, Cardin, Boxer and Shaheen.

Yesterday, Senator Casey joined a bipartisan group of senators to ask the President whether the Assad regime has used chemical weapons and received the following response.