NEWARK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced on Friday it is ending $230 million in foreign assistance funds appropriated by Congress for stabilization projects in Syria.
“I am dismayed to see President Trump sprinting down the path of abdicating American leadership on the global stage. By ending U.S. contributions to stabilization efforts in the most vulnerable Syrian communities recently liberated from the terrors of ISIS, this message of U.S. retreat and abandonment is an embarrassment. Worse yet, he is rolling out the red carpet for Russia and Iran who will seize the vacuum of U.S. presence and assistance to double down on their support of the Assad regime and make Syria a persistently unstable, terrorist and criminal nexus that will continue to threaten regional stability and the security of Israel.
“The U.S. Congress funded Syria stabilization programs recognizing our nation’s lasting stake in the stability of the region, and to avoid the short-sighted strategic mistake of failing to finish the fight after investing U.S. lives and tax dollars into a military campaign. The President once again failed to listen to his national security cabinet who know that the fight against ISIS is not complete until communities and local leaders are resilient enough to prevent and repel the next ISIS.
“Syrians will not forget if we turn our backs on them and our allies in the Middle East must be able to count on the United States as a partner who can be depended on to cross the finish line. The signal President Trump is sending by ending U.S. contributions to the stabilization of post-ISIS Syria is that Americans do not care and Syrian civilians are on their own.”