United States: House Passes Syrian Sanctions Bill

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WASHINGTON D.C. — On May 17, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act, also called the Syrian Sanctions Bill. The Syrian Sanctions Bill was introduced by Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA). The Syrian Sanctions Bill seeks to impose sanctions on supporters of Syria’s Assad regime, encourage negotiations to end ongoing atrocities and support the prosecution of war criminals.

The Syrian Sanctions Bill is designed to increase costs faced by al-Assad and his outside backers by targeting the economic sectors that allow Assad to murder with impunity. The bill causes foreign companies and banks to choose to do business with either al-Assad’s regime or the United States. The Syrian Sanctions Bill also sanctions anyone who flies weapons or fighters into Syria in support of support the Assad regime.

The White House states, “This bill is about creating economic leverage to push the parties to negotiate; creating the conditions for a negotiated peace. It is about finding a way forward – to be determined by the Syrian people – that does not allow Assad to exterminate his people with impunity, does not guarantee ISIS a safe space from which to operate, and does not drive another 10 million people from their homes.”

One cause of the Syrian Sanctions Bill is Bashar al-Assad and his supporters, who are attacking the innocent civilians. These supporters include Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

The White House states that “it is Assad’s secret police and intelligence groups who kidnap, torture and murder civilians from every ethnic group and political party. Sunni, Shia, Christians, Alawite – none are safe.”

The White House also states that the conflict that is going on in Syria is a threat to U.S. security. This is because the brutality carried out by al-Assad’s regime is a magnet for terrorism and causes millions of refugees to flee the country. The White House believes that the Syrian Sanction Bill can help combat this threat.

On February 15, 2017, a bill titled “H.Con.Res. 25: Expressing the sense of Congress on the admission of refugees and immigrants to the United States” was introduced to Congress. This bill states that “the President must immediately allow for the continued entry of refugees that have already been granted admission to the United States by the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.” To strengthen backing for this bill, supporters can contact their congressman and urge their support

Last month, footage of families killed with sarin gas went viral in the media. The number of dead is estimated at close to 500,000. Another 14 million have been driven from their homes.

To help the displaced refugees, people can donate to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The United Nations offers ways to help by paying monthly, giving a gift and fundraising for refugees.

Paige Wilson
Photo: Flickr

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Paige Wilson

Paige lives in Frisco, TX. Her academic interests include women and children’s rights, special need’s rights, and politics. Paige spent Thanksgiving in Japan!

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