Press Release

April 4th 2017

The Syrian American Council calls upon the Trump Administration to seek accountability for the perpetrators of today's heinous chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun, Idlib that left at least 58 civilians dead. The attack comes only days after comments from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that appeared to suggest a reduced U.S. commitment to removing Assad. Initial activist reports indicate that the chemicals were dropped by a regime helicopter.

The Syrian American Council further calls upon the Secretary of State to consider the possible effects of his words and the possibility that they will embolden brutal dictators like Assad to commit further war crimes. SAC encourages the Secretary to review the links between Assad and ISIS and appreciate the logical fallacy of ignoring Assad atrocities to focus only on ISIS.

From sheltering Al-Qaeda insurgents as they attacked American troops in Iraq, to releasing the mastermind of the London 7/7 attacks from jail, to helping ISIS establish itself financially through lucrative oil deals, Assad has proven time and again that he is willing to collaborate with international terrorists for his purposes. Assad has also specifically targeted opposition groups fighting ISIS, as he did last week by targeting CIA-vetted Free Syrian Army fighters that had just seized the ISIS nerve center of Bir Qassab.

“Horrible atrocities like the Khan Sheikhun massacre today are made possible when the world signals to Assad that there will be no accountability," said Mirna Barq, President of SAC. "We already know from previous experience that American inaction in the face of such atrocities creates the space for dangerous terror groups to emerge. We therefore urge the Trump Administration to act on behalf of the Syrian people rather than repeating the worst mistakes of their predecessors."

Media Contact:
Bassam Rifai
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