Sen. Menendez on the Worsening Crisis in Aleppo

Sen. Menendez on the Worsening Crisis in Aleppo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the worsening situation in Aleppo, where the Assad regime continues a Russian-backed brutal offensive against Syrian opposition and civilians.

“The horrific scenes from Aleppo offer a devastating reminder that the international community has failed the people of Syria. With the support of Russian and Iranian allies, the Assad regime has led a targeted campaign against innocent children and families, bombing hospitals, and attacking humanitarian aid workers and convoys. The regime has shown no restraint in attacking its own civilians with conventional and chemical weapons and through starvation. More than 500,000 people have already died in this conflict, millions have been displaced throughout the world, entire families are trapped and reports emerged today about women committing suicide to avoid being raped.

“This is a disheartening failure of the international community to take a stand in the face of mass violence and gross human rights violations. When faced with options to provide relief and support for innocent children and those suffering in the crosshairs of this conflict, the world failed to hear their cries for help and unify behind them. Those nations who see their own national security bolstered by the brutal Assad regime undermined core principles of security, human right and dignity at the expense of an untold number of lives. The United States and our European allies who value stability and security based on the rule of law and respect of human rights failed to lead.

“So, too, did the Congress. Three years ago, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee I helped pass a bipartisan use of military force authorization to provide the Administration with authorities to engage in limited operations against ISIS. The House of Representatives failed to act. We watched with horror as more civilians continued to die, as Assad regained power with Russian and Iranian support. The price of Congressional inaction was compounded by the Assad regime’s brazen and continuous rejection of international norms. As we idly stand by, let this tragedy remind us that we have all sworn to ‘never again’ let these horrific carnages occur. Looking forward, we must strengthen our resolve as an international community to confront this horror, ensure accountability for crimes against humanity, and commit to taking decisive actions in support of peace and humanity.”