The Syrian American Council, America's largest and oldest grassroots Syrian American organization, participated today in a meeting with senior White House officials and in a press conference in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. to protest Russia's aggression against the Syrian people. The organizations included the Syrian American Medical Society, the Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for a Free Syria, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Council on American Islamic Relations and Majid Abu Ali, a Syrian doctor.
At the White House meeting, the leadership from the organizations discussed the ramifications of the recent bombings and suggested policy recommendations for the protection of civilians through a no-fly zone and the resettlement of more refugees. At the press conference, they delivered a letter addressed to the Russian ambassador urging Russian President Putin to rethink his military strategy in Syria.
"Although Russia is claiming that it is targeting ISIS, what it has in fact done is target anti-ISIS and anti-Assad groups which has in turn strengthened ISIS. It has also strengthened the Assad regime which is responsible for killing over 300,000 people, and causing the displacement of 11 million people" said Suzanne Meriden, Director of Operations at SAC. "We are calling on the Obama Administration to partner with the international community and immediately establish strategic no-fly zones and safe zones to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians and send a message to the Russians" she added.
The organizations also announced a protest at the Russian Embassy in the 2600 block of Wisconsin Ave NW tomorrow at 4:00 P.M. followed by a a march to the White House; and a day-long lobbying on Capitol Hill.