September 18, 2014

Corker Supports Bill to Train Vetted, Moderate Syrian Opposition in Fight Against ISIS

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today issued the following statement after voting for a three-month authorization to arm and train the moderate Syrian opposition in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS):

“Thus far, the administration has been sophomoric, vague and unprepared to define an approach to ISIS that meets any test of seriousness. I am willing to give the administration three months to try to develop a training program in hopes it can be a small seed for a building block to create the coalition they have cited. By December 11, we will know if the administration has developed a more realistic effort. At that time, I believe they will be exercising extremely poor judgment if they do not seek explicit authorization from Congress for the campaign they develop to deal with ISIS.”

Corker has long been a supporter of the U.S. providing limited lethal and non-lethal assistance and training to vetted, moderate rebels against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In May 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Syria Transition Support Act, by a vote of 15-3, legislation introduced by Corker and committee Chairman Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). Training the moderate opposition in an effort dedicated to ISIS is a very different undertaking.

The legislation passed the Senate 78 to 22 and will be sent to the president to be signed into law.