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The Trump administration’s missile attack against Syrian government airfields will do nothing to end the bloodshed and violates U.S. and international law. The Friends Committee on National Legislation urges Congress to step forward from the sidelines and reassert its constitutional authority by voting to stop the U.S. from widening the war in Syria.

There is no question that the abhorrent chemical weapons attack earlier this week was an act of unspeakable violence against civilians. We are heartbroken by the deaths of Syrians, including many children. But while bombs may seem for some like a response to the images coming from Syria, the U.S. attacks will only escalate the crisis and increase the devastation and suffering of its people.

After more than six years of war, with millions displaced and a death toll of nearly half a million people, the world should recognize that no military solution exists to this crisis. Tragically, Syrians will continue to pay the highest price until the United States and the international community secure a political solution. The mounting civilian death toll underscores the tragedy of the U.S. decision to block refugees from Syria and other war torn countries.

The Trump administration’s escalation only delays the day a diplomatic solution ends the bloodshed. FCNL recommends that:

  • The U.S. fully support the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ ongoing investigation of the chemical weapons attack and work with the international community to bring the perpetrators to justice.  

  • Congress take back its constitutional authority to decide when and if the U.S. goes to war. The Senate should stay in session and the House should return from recess to force consideration of an Authorization for Use of Military Force. Congress should demand a vote and oppose any further military action in Syria.

  • The Trump administration immediately meet with Russia, Iran, and the Gulf States to revive international negotiations that will lead to a diplomatic solution.

  • The U.S. promptly increase resettlement of Syrian refugees and send more humanitarian aid to the region.

Years of direct U.S. military intervention, support of extremist armed groups, and weapons shipments to anti-government rebels in Syria have only added fuel to the fire and put Syrian civilians in greater danger. This militarized approach cannot stop the Assad regime’s systematic and unspeakable atrocities.

A diplomatic solution is the only way to end the carnage in Syria, and it is crucial to leverage Russian and Iranian influence on the Syrian government. As backers of the Assad regime, Russian and Iranian governments were crucial to persuading the government in 2013 to dismantle massive chemical weapons stockpiles. The U.S. must also press Gulf nations to use their influence with armed opposition groups in Syria to work for a diplomatic solution.

FCNL’s nationwide network will continue to urge Congress to take back its constitutional authority to determine when and if the United States goes to war. We also call on U.S. policymakers to welcome refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries and advance a comprehensive diplomatic solution in concert with the United Nations to end the bloodshed in Syria.