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Senators Call for Action Against Russia and Syria Following Gas Attack

by Countable | 4.6.17

A bipartisan group of senators are calling for tougher sanctions against Syrian and Russian leaders in response to this week’s deadly chemical attack on innocent civilians in northern Syria. They say the suspected sarin attack is a war crime and are calling on the United Nations to activate a tribunal to investigate the involvement of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"This would never have been possible had they not had the cover that Vladimir Putin has given Assad," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told reporters at the Capitol. “Anyone who supports Bashar al-Assad in doing these sorts of things and tries to cover for him on the international stage and actually votes in international organizations to protect him from sanctions, they are at a minimum accomplices in a war crime.”

Recently, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled that whether Assad remains in power is a question that ultimately must be resolved by Syrians, which Rubio says emboldened the dictator to gas his own people. "If you’re Bashar al-Assad and you read it is no longer a priority of the United States to have you removed from power, I believe that that is an incentive to act with impunity," Rubio added.

But the Trump administration may be changing its policy in Syria after receiving criticisms from Congress. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the assembly that America may take action on its own, especially if Russia continues to block attempts to form an international coalition. "When the UN consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action," Haley said.

President Donald Trump also said the attack "crossed a lot of lines," though he hasn’t outlined any specific policy changes. "These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack and all other horrific attacks, for that matter," he told reporters at the White House.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) is teaming up with Rubio to pressure the Trump administration to be more forceful in pressuring Assad and Putin. They also want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to put a non-binding resolution on Syria on the Senate floor, which they say will highlight the deteriorating situation in Syria while also letting the White House know the Senate is behind taking tougher action in the region.

"We need action. To me it starts with a clear U.S. policy that President Assad has no legitimacy as the leader of Syria, and no future as the leader of Syria," Cardin said at the Capitol on Wednesday.

The text of the resolution condemning the Syrian regime and calling for a political solution is here.

Contact your lawmakers using the "Take Action" button and let them know what you think should be done in Syria.

-- Matt Laslo

(Photo Credit: Kremlin_04.jpg) / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(84)
  • Eric
    04/06/2017
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    I support your pursuit of strong diplomatic action but not strong military action yet. Syria is messy and Trump is impulsive and, in my opinion, seeking out a reason to go to war. I realize the recent pictures are disturbing, but why didnt the 7 million displaced Syrians not disturb Trump until now? Suddenly we're going to send the military? Tillerson is supposed to go to Russia next week-sounds like an excellent time to exercise diplomacy for the very tense issues in Syria.

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  • Kenyob
    04/06/2017
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    Please take action on Syria. We cannot sit back and let innocent children women and men be killed with mass terrorism.

    Like (13)
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  • Jeanne
    04/06/2017
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    Tough sanctions at least! No physical violence, please!

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  • Aubrey
    04/06/2017
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    I support tough sanctions against Russia.

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  • Ryan
    04/06/2017
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    It's a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. Sure we would be the savior today but tomorrow? We would be portrayed as villains for invading yet another middle eastern country. Keep the sanctions up but don't get dragged into a military confrontation.

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  • Commonsensepolitics
    04/07/2017
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    It's a little disheartening to see how quickly everyone supports action against Assad when at this point there isn't any concrete evidence that he used the chemical weapons as opposed to the rebel groups. It makes no sense for Assad to vilify himself almost right after the Trump administration had mentioned leaving him in power. Maybe before feeding into the perpetual war desired by the military industrial complex we could at least do a little homework first?

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  • FactsDontCareAboutFeelings
    04/06/2017
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    Action in Syria is a bad idea. It will be an Iraq part 2. Taking out Assad will create a power vacuum that will be filled by the rebels or ISIS, and Assad is Better than both of them.

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  • Lori
    04/08/2017
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    The liberals on here slay me. You are ok with millions of babies being killed in America every year under the guise Of women's health. You say how appalled you are that the children are gassed in Syria and you think that there should be just sanctions. What a unique blend of hypocrisy and stupidity. You folks make no sense.

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  • Vivian
    04/06/2017
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    This administration openly favors Putin who is providing Syria with the chemicals that were used in this atrocity. The White House has their blood on his hands.

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  • Matt
    04/07/2017
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    False flag gas attack used to implement a nation-building proxy war to help the oil companies.

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  • Kellen
    04/06/2017
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    Like Trump is going to do anything when his best buddy Putin is back Assad. He would rather babies be murdered by sarin gas than take steps to stop something like this from ever happening again.

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  • Timnyc
    04/06/2017
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    Enough talk let's see some action NOT Military NO More dead civilians. Use all options through The UN, NATO and the rest of the civilized world. We need to stand up and Lead to stop the genocide with all we have. Please take a stand!!!!! Remember WWII when we stood by as the holocaust was taking place Never Again

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  • RcfBanita
    04/07/2017
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    This needs to be a political/diplomatic solution. Any kind of violent, warlike retaliation just foments more of the same. War only brings about a messy, uneasy peace, if peace at all. Welcome the refugees, put effective sanctions in place, but no more bombings and killing!

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  • Kellie
    04/06/2017
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    Syrian Civil War started on March 15 2011. It is rampant and ugly with 4 main belligerents. The only way to stop Bashar al Assad’s long history of chemical attacks, and other atrocities is put heavy sanctions back on Russia and China. Both Russia and China vetoed Western back UN resolution that would have imposed sanctions on Syria over chemical weapons use. It is time that we as a free nation to put pressure on our representatives and on President Trump to put an end to this crime against humanity!

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  • Ingrid
    04/06/2017
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    We must stay level minded ,strategic. Enforce existing sanctions increase other sanctions to push for a political solution. We all condemn crimes against humanity. Rally the world against Asad regime . But not react visceral. Steady hand . No consideration to Russian assessments on supporting Asad regime . That's how we do it. No flip flopping! Show our humanity , remove ban on refugees.

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  • Sherry
    04/06/2017
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    Bashar al-Assad committed a war crime by gassing his people with sarin gas. We cannot stand idly by. Something must be done to prevent more atrocities like this. The world is watching.

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  • Frances
    04/09/2017
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    Sanctions yes. Military action NO!!!!

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  • Vanessa
    04/08/2017
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    NO! We should NOT get involved in Syria. Saudi Arabia started this atrocity against Assad, supporting these so-called friendly rebels who are indistinguishable from ISIS. I'd use chemical gas against any ISIS member and his family too, especially if they were ripping apart my country and causing atrocities on my people. The Assad's have always been welcoming to Christians, especially the Armenian Christians who were being annihilated by the Turks in the early 1900's. In fact that genocide was Hitler's inspiration for his "final solution" on the European Jews. Assad is a fundamental a decent man. It is we who are picking the wrong side.

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  • Susan
    04/06/2017
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    Russia must face sanctions for their active role supporting Assad and targeting civilians

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  • Laura
    04/06/2017
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    Why would he has his own people just as they are winning the war? Doesn't make any sense? Not sure who gassed these innocent people, we sold this gas to countries. When will the wars stop?

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