Durbin's Statement on the Situation in Syria

[ISTANBUL, TURKEY] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today on the situation in Syria. Durbin made the statement from Turkey after visiting a Syrian refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border and meeting with Syrian opposition leaders in Istanbul:

“I met with Syrian refugees in a camp in Southern Turkey where more than half of the camp’s ten thousand refugees were women and children. It was a grim reminder of the human toll of the brutality of Bashar al-Assad’s regime."

“President Obama is right - Assad must go. The slaughter of 108 people - 49 of them children - at Houla is further evidence of Assad’s war crimes against the Syrian people. The UN Security Council must demand an immediate end to the violence and the global community should stand united in condemning the Syrian regime and calling for Assad's ouster.”

Durbin is in Turkey for meetings with senior Turkish officials, including Turkish President Abdullah Gul, on the security situation in the region. Durbin’s stop in Turkey is part of a week-long trip to Eastern Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus where he will hold high-level meetings on regional political dynamics and security issues.

In March, Durbin strongly condemned the violence in Syria and singled out Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, for its continued arms sales and support of the Syrian regime. Video of those remarks can be found here.

Last year, Durbin sent a letter to UN Secretary Susan Rice urging her to refer all credible allegations of crimes against humanity by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to the International Criminal Court. A copy of that letter is attached. 

In addition to being the second-highest ranking member of the United States Senate, Durbin sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on European Affairs which has jurisdiction over matters concerning the continent of Europe, including the Caucasus. Its responsibilities include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.