Activists called on President Obama to take action against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria during a protest outside of the White House.
The protesters from groups including United for a Free Syria and the Syrian Emergency Task Force gathered in front of the White House wearing blue ponchos to stand in solidarity with the Syrian army defector “Caesar,” who testified before Congress last year. “Caesar,” who wore a blue jacket to protect his identity, smuggled thousands of graphic images showing torture and starvation in Assad’s prisons out of Syria.
The U.S. Holocaust Museum displayed some of the images on Capitol Hill, which are also at the museum. The FBI has confirmed the authenticity of the photos.
Bassam Rifai of the Syrian American Council, who worked for the Obama campaign in 2008, told PJ Media that Obama has to do more to help the Syrian people.
“This was a president we thought would be different than other politicians, someone who had on board Samantha Power, someone who wrote the book A Problem From Hell,” he told PJ Media.
“What we expect, the very, very least from the president of the United States, is to protect civilians in Syria. He can do that in whichever way he believes is best but to stand by and say that this isn’t our problem or say that this is too complicated or say that any of the options that we have at the table all have bad consequences, the reality is that the consequences of inaction far outweigh the consequences of any specific action that can take place.”
Other activists at the protest shared similar concerns about the “mass atrocity” happening in Syria, saying that Assad’s regime has killed thousands of civilians in Syria. Estimates put the current death toll since the revolution began at around 250,000, with up to a third of those casualties civilians. Millions more have been displaced.
“Every day the Syrian planes go and bomb civilians with helicopters and airplanes made by Russia. Assad is being helped by Iranians, by Hezbollah and by Russians to kill his own people. This is unprecedented and the world is looking and ignoring that and looking the other way. It’s really a shame that this happened in the 21st century,” one activist told the crowd watching the protest. “We cannot get rid of ISIS until we get rid of Syrian Assad.”
By allowing the Iran nuclear deal to go through, another activist said, Obama is essentially funding the Assad regime and “we want the president to put more force into removing President Bashar al-Assad.”
As they protested outside the White House, Obama was inside defending the Iran deal to reporters.