Press Release

May 11, 2011
Urges further sanctions, says President Assad has lost legitimacy

syriaWASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today has co-sponsored a resolution strongly condemning the escalating crackdown in Syria, warning that President Bashar Al Assad has lost legitimacy and urging President Obama to keep pressure on his regime. The resolution was introduced by U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

The bipartisan resolution calls for the expansion of targeted U.S. sanctions against Syrian officials responsible for human rights abuses, including against President Assad personally, and for the Obama Administration to work at the U.N. Security Council to hold Syrian human-rights abusers accountable. The resolution also expresses unambiguous support for the aspirations of the Syrian people, as they continue peaceful protests in the streets of cities and towns across their country despite a dramatically heightened campaign of barbaric violence against them by the Syrian regime, and urges President Obama to speak out directly and personally about the situation in Syria. 

“Syria’s human-rights violations have been well documented for decades, but the recent actions taken by the government against its own citizens peacefully demonstrating are particularly egregious.  We stand by the people of Syria and support their rights to be heard by their government,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

The other resolution co-sponsors include: U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Robert Casey (D-PA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY),  Chris Coons (D-DE), and Mark Kirk (R-IL)