WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in recognition of the eleventh anniversary of the Syrian uprising:
“Eleven years ago, protesters across Syria took to the streets in a courageous call for democratic change. Tragically, the regime of Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian airpower and Iranian proxies like Hezbollah, responded with deadly attacks on its own citizens and a sustained, brutal campaign against hospitals, humanitarian relief operations, and other civilian infrastructure.
“The international community must hold the Assad regime accountable, and we cannot allow the regime to return to ‘business as usual.’ At a time when the international community has shown unity and resolve in the face of Vladimir Putin’s illegal aggression against Ukraine, allowing for the normalization of the Assad regime would send a dangerous message to Putin, Assad, and other authoritarians.
“As the ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we will continue to speak out against attempts to normalize diplomatic or economic relations with the Assad regime and will continue to push for the implementation of sanctions on the regime itself and on its backers in Moscow and Tehran.”