ACTION ALERT: Tulsi Gabbard's Trip to Meet Assad

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) made a secret trip to Syria, meeting with President Assad himself, to conduct a "fact-finding mission" in Assad regime-held areas. This is the first time a member of the United States Congress has visited Syria during the uprising of the Syrian revolution.  Gabbard is attempting to provide legitimacy to Bashar Assad and his Iranian and Russian allies who have murdered hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians.

Since her election to Congress in 2012, Gabbard has repeatedly made a series of the following false assertions to her fellow lawmakers:  

  • Attempts to remove Assad from power has lead to killing of 400,000 Syrians
  • Assad fights ISIS. Syria would be controlled by ISIS if the regime was driven from power
  • The Syrian opposition is comprised of al-Qaeda and affiliated extremists groups      

Congresswoman Gabbard's trip to Assad-controlled Syria will only embolden her to convince members of Congress of these falsehoods. 

We need to act now!

Contact Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's office to condemn her trip to Syria and her campaign of legitimizing Bashar Assad. 

The following are points you can relay to the congresswoman and her staff:  

  • The Assad regime is responsible for most of the death and destruction in Syria.  
  • Assad's continuation of rule in Syria is the root of the conflict.  
  • Assad's support does not derive from the consent of the Syrian people but the military and economic support of Russia, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah, the Iraqi Harakat al-Nujaba, and the Afghani Fatimiyn Brigades
  • The overwhelmingly number of the anti-ISIS fight in western Syria has been conducted not by the Assad regime, but the Syrian opposition

Below you can view a press release from the Syrian American Council last week condemning Gabbard's trip to meet Assad.

The Syrian American Council, America's largest and oldest grassroots Syrian community organization, condemns in the strongest terms possible Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's (D-HI) recent secret trip to Assad-controlled Syria on a so-called "fact-finding mission." Her trip, which was organized by a pro-Assad organization and is the first by a U.S. lawmaker since 2011, provides dangerous legitimization to a brutal regime that has caused the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II through its war crimes.

Gabbard's positions on Syria, as articulated on her website, contain within them two fundamental flaws. First, she wrongly believes that U.S. efforts to overthrow Bashar al-Assad are the cause for 400,000 deaths in Syria and massive displacement of Syrians. However, impartial organizations and international bodies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations have repeatedly stressed that the Assad regime is responsible for the bulk of death and destruction in Syria. It is the persistence of this regime in power that has caused this crisis, not efforts to overthrow it.

Second, Gabbard wrongly uses an "enemy of my enemy" logic to state that because Assad forces are fighting ISIS, the U.S. should not be fighting Assad forces. What she neglects with this logic is that the bulk of the anti-ISIS fight in western Syria has been conducted by the Syrian opposition. Syrian rebel forces have sacrificed thousands of fatalities to keep ISIS out of Aleppo for 3 years, and they continue to push ISIS back from the Damascus suburbs and southern Syria today. Assad forces, meanwhile, are losing rapidly to ISIS as they concentrate their fire on moderate rebels and civilians in Wadi Barada.

Gabbard believes that Islamic extremist groups will take over Syria if Assad falls. She never mentions how Assad has managed to survive in the face of a popular uprising: through a massive intervention by brutal international terrorists fighting with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah, the Iraqi Harakat al-Nujaba, and the Afghani Fatimiyun Brigades. Before the carnage in Aleppo, IRGC head Qassem Suleimani made two trips to visit foreign fighters on the front lines in two weeks. Meanwhile, today civilians in rebel-held neighboring Idlib held democratic elections for a local council.

"Gabbard's support for vicious dictators such as Mouammar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad fly in the face of everything America should stand for," said Mirna Barq, the President of the Syrian American Council. "She panders to war criminals, postures against American 'regime change,' and never considers that Syrians have the same inalienable rights that she does to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One day, when Assad falls, Syrians will show just how wrong she was."