Assad’s Address Made It Clear That He Is An Enemy Of Peace & Will Continue To Plunge Syria Further Into Violence, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Jan 7, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs


(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and now serving as Chairman of the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding Sunday’s address by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad:

“Assad has made it clear that a peace plan to bring an end to the conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives and forced countless more innocents to flee Syria is not an option he is willing to consider. Assad’s destructive rhetoric denouncing the opposition as ‘enemies of God and puppets of the West’ will not further any hope for peace but only plunge Syria further into the depths of this conflict.

“His attempts to maintain his regime’s iron grip on power by mercilessly targeting civilians and bombing population centers will only further the despair and suffering of the Syrian people. Any actions by the Obama Administration regarding Syria, however, must be taken cautiously. The recent designation of a Syrian rebel group as a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda by the Administration means the U.S. must take the necessary precautions to conduct proper oversight and due diligence regarding this delicate situation.

“In order to end the ruthless killing and destruction, Assad must step down. The U.S. and responsible nations should advocate for a peaceful democratic transition in Syria to promote stability in the Middle East and support our ally Israel as she faces a growing threat of extremist elements stemming from this conflict. As recent experience has shown, we must not replace one dictator with another nor create a situation that will only further destabilize an already inflamed region.”