As conflict enters tenth year, Senators call for Trump administration to hold Assad regime accountable for crimes, alleviate further suffering of Syrian people


Washington (May 6, 2020) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) sent a letter to the State Department urging American action to stem the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Now in its tenth year, the Syrian civil war has led to the loss of more than 500,000 lives and the displacement of eleven million Syrians from their homes. The Senators call on the Trump administration to take steps to protect the fragile ceasefire in Idlib province, to help ensure lifesaving aid can reach the Syrian people, especially as they battle the coronavirus outbreak, and to implement targeted sanctions in response to the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attacks and other barbaric human rights abuses.


Only a negotiated political agreement that ends Bashar al-Assad’s brutal reign will end a civil war that has claimed over a half million lives,” write Senators Markey and Boozman in their letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “The steps we have outlined in this letter can help achieve it and bring relief to the Syrian people in their time of greatest need.”


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


In their letter, the Senators ask Secretary of State Pompeo to provide response to questions that include:

  • What steps has the Administration taken, and what additional steps does it intend to take, to bolster the March 5 ceasefire in Idlib province, including for partners and allies who are protecting territory and civilian lives in the area?
  • What steps has the Administration taken, and what additional steps does it intend to take, to allow humanitarian assistance to reach the Syrian people, especially medical equipment and personnel needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Syria?
  • Will the Administration impose sanctions against Assad, his government, and its supporters under the CAESAR Act, as U.S. law requires
  • How does the Administration intend to respond to the Assad regime’s three confirmed instances of chemical weapons use in 2017?