Sen. Menendez on Russia’s Duplicitous Actions in Syria

Sen. Menendez on Russia’s Duplicitous Actions in Syria

NEWARK, NJ – US Senator Bob Menendez, senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on Russia’s duplicitous approach to ending Syria’s civil war through a political solution after the failure of a week-long nationwide ceasefire and the abrupt and ruthless escalation of violence that is devastating the city of Aleppo.

“Russia’s support of the Assad regime’s ongoing bombardment of civilians and humanitarian operations in Syria is not only destabilizing, it is barbaric and inhuman and runs contrary to any real attempt to defeat ISIS in Syria or any real counterterrorism strategy. Putin has used the Syrian conflict to his own advantage from the outset, to achieve victory for Assad and secure Russia’s port base in Syria. This is yet another reminder of Russia’s destabilizing influence and Putin’s untrustworthiness. Russia has proven time and again it has no interest in sustaining a peaceful pursuit of a political solution to the crisis in Syria. It would seem Russia is committed to a temporary ceasefire as a ruse to allow the Assad regime’s brutal troops to reorganize and plan further attacks on their own civilians, like the brutally destructive airstrikes on eastern Aleppo this weekend.”

“It should come as no surprise that Putin would stand behind Bashar al-Assad’s absurd claim that his army was not responsible for the bombing of Syrian hospitals and humanitarian aid convoys. Clearly, our broader interests in Syria and our strategy to defeat ISIS in Syria is not compatible with those of Putin and Assad, and the United States and our allies should be wary of sharing information and intelligence with a leader like Putin given Russia’s recent history of gathering intelligence about Americans. We must find a resolution to the devastating humanitarian crisis in Syria for the sake of the region and the world. Putin has repeatedly proven his meddlesome intentions in Syria, and increasingly in the United States by interfering with our Presidential election. Putin should not be trusted and certainly not be praised, and our candidates seeking the highest office should be wholeheartedly condemning his actions.”

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