MURPHY STATEMENT ON MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO SYRIAN OPPOSITION GROUPS

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement after the White House announced new intelligence estimates regarding the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons in Syria, and its intentions to expand U.S. assistance to opposition forces in the country:

Tonight, the Administration announced that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against the Syrian people, and that the Administration intends to expand U.S. assistance to Syrian opposition forces. I condemn the Assad regime’s actions, which are in blatant violation of international norms.  

When I voted last week against a Senate resolution authorizing the provision of military assistance, I expressed deep reservations about committing U.S. military resources to support these opposition forces, which remain dangerously splintered and hold demonstrable ties to terrorist organizations. I explained that the United States should be wary of becoming drawn into a complicated proxy war that could bog our country down for years at a potentially incalculable cost to U.S. taxpayers and America’s reputation.  

There are many actions that the United States can take to increase our humanitarian assistance to refugee populations and opposition groups, short of injecting more weapons into the conflict.  

I urge the President to exercise restraint and to consult closely with Congress before undertaking any course of action to commit American military resources to Syrian opposition forces.

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