Unclassified Syria briefing exposes rift among key lawmakers
Senate Armed Serviced Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said United Nations inspectors should be given the time to finish gathering evidence.
“I appreciate the administration’s continuing efforts tonight to consult with Congress about the situation in Syria, and its commitment to further consultations with Congress,” Levin said.
“I have previously called for the United States to work with our friends and allies to increase the military pressure on the Assad regime by providing lethal aid to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I suggested that we should do so while U.N. inspectors complete their work and while we seek international support for limited, targeted strikes in response to the Assad regime’s large-scale use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.”
Others reiterated their calls for an immediate response.
“The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime requires a decisive response,” said Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). “Our national security interests, those of our allies, and regional stability are at risk as Syria is disintegrating into a failed state. This is not a moment to look the other way, to blind ourselves to the horrifying images in Syria, and to send the dangerous message to the global community that we would allow the use of a chemical weapons attack to take place with impunity.