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Senators Introduce Syrian Resolution to Aid, Not Arm, Opposition

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a resolution Friday calling for the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and calling on the Obama administration to start providing “substantial material and technical support” to the Syrian opposition.
The resolution does not support arming the opposition, a Senate aide confirms.
The resolution shows they believe there is a lot the U.S. can do to help the opposition in terms of providing communications support, helping the political opposition organize, humanitarian aid and reporting on abuses inside the country.

The resolution says U.S. assistance should be provided upon request to Syrian organizations that are representative of the people of Syria, make demonstrable commitments to protect human rights and religious freedom, reject terrorism, cooperate with international counterterrorism and nonproliferation efforts and abstain from destabilizing neighboring countries.
“We need to hasten Assad’s departure from power and also lay the groundwork for the difficult path towards a true inclusive democracy,” said Sen.  Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The resolution condemns Bashar al-Assad regime’s human rights violations, calls upon Assad to step down from power, condemns the Governments of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran for providing military and security equipment to Syria and urges the President to begin taking steps to prepare for the fall of Assad’s regime.
The Senate is out of session until Monday afternoon. It is likely the first movement on this resolution will begin early next week in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Additional co-sponsors of this bipartisan resolution include Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

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