Delays in the US Administration’s efforts to increase support to the Free Syrian Army
July 11, 2013
The Syrian Coalition is deeply concerned by reports indicating that elements of the US Congress are delaying the Administration’s efforts to increase its support to the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
This support is vital to promote the safety and security of Syrian citizens as they continue to defend themselves against a brutal regime that attacks civilian population centers at will in order to suppress our country’s democratic uprising.
The Coalition understands the concerns of the U.S. Congress and the American public, and is committed to ensuring that arms will not reach extremist elements. The Syrian Coalition and the Free Syrian Army have already introduced the necessary measures to ensure full and comprehensive vetting of all armed forces under our command. We will strictly enforce these controls to ensure that weapons remain in the control of moderate opposition forces.
While the US administration fails to fulfill its commitments to the Syrian people, allies of the Syrian regime continue to funnel arms and dedicate resources to strengthen the Assad dictatorship. Arms from Russia and Iran are currently being used against the towns of Homs and Aleppo, where thousands of Syrian civilians are exposed to incessant attacks by the regime’s security apparatus.
“The urgency of delivering these arms cannot be overstated as the regime continues to intensify its attacks on civilians and opposition forces in Homs, Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria. As many as 4,000 civilians are currently trapped in Homs with no access to medical care, food, or protection,” said Dr. Najib Ghadbian, Special Representative of the Syrian Coalition to the US.
President Obama's leadership, as well as direct US support of all kinds, is necessary in order to create the conditions on the ground required to enable the implementation of a negotiated settlement. We urge the US House and Senate Select Intelligence Committees to allow the arming of moderate and vetted forces to begin without further delay.