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We are deeply concerned and saddened by the recent U.S. military operation in Syria and reported suicide bombing in response by ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. We mourn the continued loss of all life in Syria and urge all parties to the conflict to renew efforts for a political settlement, ensure the protection of civilians, and end the violence.  

We call on the White House and Congress to end the war-based, militarized approach to terrorism and properly resource critical non-military tools that deal with the root causes of terrorism and prioritize peace.

We abhor that the United States has called the recent operation a “success” at the expense of more than a dozen lost lives, including six children.  Violence is always a failure in our search for a more peaceful and just world.   

As a Quaker organization, we seek the Light in every human life. While the U.S. operation may have been intended to capture and not kill, the end result is more loss of human life.  We fear this incident will only fuel more resentment against the United States and inspire more recruits to the cause of armed violence.  It will do nothing to address the underlying causes of violent conflict in Syria or extremist ideology.

Last year, President Biden declared before the United Nations, “I stand here today, for the first time in 20 years, with the United States not at war.” How can the White House reconcile this statement with ongoing military operations in Syria and so many other places around the world?  

More than a decade after the start of the war in Syria, the United States continues to rely on military force as its primary tool of engagement.  We call on the White House and Congress to end the war-based, militarized approach to terrorism and properly resource critical non-military tools that deal with the root causes of terrorism and prioritize peace.

In Syria, as elsewhere, war is not the answer.

Bridget Moix

Bridget Moix

General Secretary
Bridget Moix is the fifth General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). She also leads two other Quaker organizations, affiliated with FCNL: Friends Place on Capitol Hill and FCNL Education Fund.