WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the author of the Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act, released the following statement Friday after Secretary of State John Kerry called for a war crimes investigation and accountability in Syria:
“The slaughter of innocent Syrian civilians and deliberate targeting of hospitals, schools, rescue personnel, and humanitarian workers is increasing. The reign of terror inflicted on the Syrian people by Bashar al-Assad, and his Russian and Iranian backers, must stop.
“I welcome Secretary Kerry’s call earlier today for an investigation of war crimes committed in Syria. It is far beyond time for those guilty of these atrocities and crimes against humanity to answer for their actions. Such an investigation will shine a spotlight and send a signal not only to those guilty of war crimes in Syria, but also to any future actors contemplating such heinous crimes. We must respond to the Syrian people’s call for justice and accountability.
“However, our collective action must go further than a war crimes investigation. The scale and scope of human suffering in Syria requires urgent international action. I hope to work in the coming weeks with the Obama Administration and all those committed to compelling Assad and his backers to halt military operations and return to the negotiating table.”