April 03, 2014

Corker: 150,000 Killed in Syria, Still No Strategy from the Obama Administration

WASHINGTON – A week after a senior State Department official agreed to discuss with senators in a non-public setting the U.S. contingency plans for Syria, including military options and support for the Syrian opposition, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said no briefing has been setup, leaving him to conclude that the Obama administration has no strategy for Syria even as the death toll in the conflict topped 150,000 this week.

“A week after administration officials stonewalled our committee, making reckless statements about U.S. contingencies for Syria that don’t appear to exist, we still have not had the briefing we were promised, leading me to conclude the administration has no Syrian strategy,” said Corker. “Without a coherent Syria policy from day one, the administration has contributed to the worsening conflict through inaction, limiting our options, diminishing U.S. credibility and putting U.S. interests and our country’s security at risk. Members on both sides of the aisle are demanding answers, and I will continue to press the administration until we get them.”

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last Wednesday on U.S. policy in Syria after the failure of Geneva peace talks, Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Corker requested a closed briefing from the administration after State Department officials refused to answer some of the committee’s questions about U.S. involvement in Syria stating the answers were classified information.

Top U.S. intelligence officials have said the conflict in Syria now threatens the U.S. homeland.