UPDATED - Sarbanes Statement on Syria

September 5, 2013
CONTACT: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016
TOWSON – U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today released the following statement on Syria:

"On August 21, 2013, the Assad regime launched a chemical weapons attack into rebel-held areas of the Damascus suburbs, killing over one thousand people, including hundreds of children. This shocking and abhorrent use of a weapon that the civilized world has long banned demands a forceful and unequivocal response.

"President Obama has asked the Congress to authorize the use of military force in support of a strike against the Assad regime as punishment for this attack. In the coming days, Congress will debate the President's request and I look forward to hearing all competing perspectives and examining any additional information provided by the Administration or other sources. I find persuasive the President's arguments that a strike is warranted in order to give teeth to the international ban on chemical weapons and in order to demonstrate American resolve in the Middle East. However, I share the conviction of many of my colleagues that any strike be limited in time and scope, be reasonably expected to achieve the goal of degrading Assad’s chemical weapons capacity and deterring his future use of such weapons, and be assessed to have a low risk of drawing the United States into a broader military engagement. Those are the standards I will use in determining my support for any resolution that members of the House of Representatives are asked to vote upon."