Reply from Sen. Gardner

Date: 2017-04-28 03:13 am (UTC)
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
From: [personal profile] flwyd
Dear Mr. Stone,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the current situation in Syria. I appreciate you taking the time to write. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate and I hope you will continue to write with your thoughts and ideas on moving our country forward.

Last Congress, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced S. 756, the Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act of 2015, which denounces the continued violence by the Syrian government and would require the Department of State to inform Congress on all human right violations in Syria. On June 11, 2015, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on which I serve, passed this legislation out of committee by unanimous consent. On July 14, 2015, this legislation passed the Senate. However, S. 756 expired without becoming law at the end of last Congress.

The ongoing crisis in Syria is escalating—according to the United Nations, 400,000 people have lost their lives, over one million wounded, and over three million have fled the country as refugees. On August 30, 2013, the United States government assessed with "high confidence" that the Syrian regime led by Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. On April 4, 2017, Bashar al-Assad once again used chemical weapons against his own people, violating the agreement reached in 2013 between Syria and the international community to remove all Syria’s chemical weapons. On April 7, 2017, the U.S. took action against this treacherous regime whose actions and allies have shown the world the dark edge of humanity. The use of chemical weapons is illegal under international law and the Administration is well justified taking this long-overdue action against a designated state sponsor of terrorism. I believe this action must be part of a broader strategy to achieve the following U.S. national security goals: to ultimately remove a brutal and lawless regime from power that is in violation of international law, to eradicate the Islamic State and associated groups, and to achieve a clear humanitarian goal of saving the Syrian people from a slaughter.

Please rest assured, I will keep your thoughts in mind on this issue. Again, thank you for contacting me, and do not hesitate to do so again when an issue is important to you.

Cory Gardner
United States Senator
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