Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the National Security Working Group and former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released a statement following the recent U.S. action in Syria:
”The targeted actions taken last night are an appropriate and proportionate response to a heinous attack by the Assad regime on Syrian civilians. As I have said before, Bashar al-Assad is a war criminal who has starved, barrel bombed, and besieged the Syrian people for more than six years. The horrible attack this week was not the first time that he has used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. His regime needs to be held accountable for their crimes.
"I believe the President must outline for the American people a strategy for how this action will move us closer to a political transition in Syria while also advancing the Coalition fight against ISIS. I believe there is no purely military solution to the conflict in Syria, and I continue to oppose the large scale deployment of U.S. ground forces. In the coming days, I’ll be pressing the Administration for a full strategy that addresses the ISIS fight as well as the political situation in Syria.
"Russia and Iran also need to be held accountable for their continued support of the Assad regime, and my bipartisan legislation with Senator Rubio, the Preventing Destabilization of Iraq and Syria Act of 2017, is essential to achieving that goal. The President should also accelerate humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people and seriously reconsider his discriminatory travel ban that would deny the Syrian women and children who are victims of this terrible violence the opportunity to resettle safely in the U.S. after appropriate vetting by our government.
"Further, I believe it’s incumbent on the Administration to seek a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) if it intends to take any further military action. I called on the Obama Administration to do the same – the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs are outdated and don’t reflect today’s realities and threats. Members of Congress have a responsibility to debate these actions and cast a vote on an AUMF if the President plans to continue military action."