We recently introduced legislation that would help bring about such a change in U.S. policy. The bill would authorize additional humanitarian aid for the Syrian people, support for the political opposition, and non-lethal assistance for vetted elements of the armed opposition. It would seek to further isolate Assad by recommending additional sanctions against entities that still do business with his regime. The bill would also require a plan for addressing Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, so they cannot be used against civilians or Syria’s neighbors…

We also join our colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have called on the Obama administration to explore additional actions to help create space for this new transitional government to function, by defending liberated territory from the Assad regime’s jets and missiles. This may require the use of U.S. and allied military assets. Although getting involved in another conflict in the Middle East is no one’s first choice, the consequences of the status quo in Syria are mounting. We must act before it is too late and we get dragged into a broader conflict on terms that are not our own.

All of these actions will advance U.S. interests and are consistent with our values. The United States can and must do more to support the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people and bring an end to a conflict that, unless America leads, is likely to destabilize the region for years to come.