Gabbard Joins Colleagues in Backing “Stop Arming Terrorists Act”

March 1, 2017, 4:53 PM HST · Updated March 1, 4:54 PM
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Stop Arming Terrorists Press Conference. PC: Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

US Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Tom Garrett (VA-05) hosted a press conference today urging their colleagues to support and pass the bipartisan Stop Arming Terrorists Act or HR608.

“Together, we’re raising our voices and calling on our nation’s leaders to pass the Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Rep. Gabbard said that the US government has been “supporting militant groups working directly with and often under the command of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda” in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.

“The fact that our resources are being used to strengthen the very terrorist groups we should be focused on defeating should alarm every Member of Congress and every American. Last night, President Trump talked about many things, but he did not address the destructive regime change war in Syria that has caused such great human suffering, created millions of refugees, caused tremendous loss of life, and has strengthened our enemies. I urge the Trump Administration and leaders in Congress to support this important bipartisan legislation and pass the Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” said Rep. Gabbard.

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Tima Kurdi, co-founder of the Kurdi Foundation, whose sister-in-law and two nephews drowned while trying to cross to Greece seeking refuge from the Syrian war, also spoke at the press event.  They are pushing for legislation to stop arming rebels in Syria and end the regime change war there. The bipartisan legislation has been endorsed by Veterans for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, and the US Peace Council.

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Tom Garrett (VA-05) hosted a press conference today urging their colleagues to support and pass the bipartisan Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608). Rep. Gabbard is pictured at the far right in blue. PC: Office of Rep. Gabbard.

“Regime change will not bring an end to the suffering of my people in Syria,” said Tima Kurdi.  “A military solution is not the path to peace in Syria. We must find a political solution. I’m proud to support the Stop Arming Terrorists Act and call on President Trump to end the regime change war in Syria that has only led to more bloodshed, more suffering, and created more refugees. Enough is enough,” she said.

Rep. Peter Welch urged Congress to pass the legislation, which he said, “will ensure that Congress is performing its vital oversight function so that taxpayer dollars spent in the fight against terrorists are spent properly and effectively and do not end up in the wrong hands.”

Rep. Tom Garrett also commented saying, “The first goal of US foreign policy must be to ensure peace and stability. Open source inquiry tells us that what was formerly Jabhat Al Nusra and currently is Jabhat Fateh al-Sham is commonly known as al-Qaeda in Syria. The alternative is ISIS. These are the options that stand at the door if we overthrow the Syrian government. We’ve seen in both Iraq and Libya that people are worse off now than before the US intervened to overthrow Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. We need to stop arming terrorists and end our destructive regime change foreign policies,” he said.

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