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Washington DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs on reports that the Russian Federation has delivered S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Assad regime:

“Yesterday’s reports that the Russian Federation will uphold its commitment to deliver S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Assad regime are deeply disturbing.  After more than two years of brutal assaults on the Syrian people, this unacceptable move makes it clear that neither the Assad regime nor the Russian government seriously intends to negotiate a peaceful settlement of this conflict.  More than 80,000 lives have been lost, while the UN estimates that more than 8 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance. 

I am also disappointed in State Department's statement yesterday, which asserted that Russia was simply delivering on a past contract with the Assad regime and that this action would not derail negotiations. By continuing to supply the Assad regime, especially with weapons that could threaten our Israeli partners, the Russian government is fueling and prolonging the conflict.  Only Assad’s removal from power can bring about a peaceful settlement.

I am proud to be a co-sponsor of S. 960, the Syria Transition Support Act of 2013, which was passed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week.  I proposed an amendment to the bill which was accepted and requires the Administration to sanction entities that sell, transfer, or transport defense articles, defense services, or military training to the Assad regime.  The delivery of the S-300s is a clear violation of this provision, and I urge the Administration to proactively move to sanction the entities responsible.  We cannot allow entities like Russia’s Rosoboron export to continue profiting with impunity from the Syrian people’s suffering.“



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