Washington DC – The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS), a coalition representing over 100,000 Syrian Americans, supports last night’s action by a US-led coalition against ISIS in Syria. The international coalition’s campaign began with 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched at ISIStargets in Raqqa, where ISIS is headquartered, followed by air strikes in different areas. The air strikes were conducted by the United States, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
“While CDS supports the aerial campaign against ISIS, which has been killing Syrians and indirectly serving the Assad regime’s interests, we urge the international coalition to exercise utmost caution to minimize the number of civilians killed. Furthermore, since ISIS cannot be defeated with air strikes alone, we urge the US government to expedite the training and equipping of moderate Syrian opposition forces, as Congress authorized last week” said Dr. Yahya Basha, Chairman of the CDS. “We also insist that the United States recognize that the Assad regime is the incubator for terrorism in Syria, including foreign terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. In order to effectively defeat terrorism in Syria, action must also be taken against the root cause which is the Assad regime, in addition to action against terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hezbollah, and the IRGC.”
The CDS applauds the decision of the United States to reject coordination with the Assad regime,providing only a warning to Syria’s UN representative that an attack was imminent, without any military-to-military communication or specific details. This follows the decision announced by President Obama and approved by Congress to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels, confirming the US’s decision to disregard Assad as an illegitimate dictator and instead to partner with the pro-democracy Syrian opposition.
The CDS expresses concern over the reported civilian deaths in northern Idlib and again urges the international coalition to exercise the utmost caution to minimize civilian casualties.