Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) admonished the Obama administration to “stop hiding behind [Kofi] Annan’s diplomatic disaster as the way forward in Syria” as grisly details emerged of the latest massacre by Bashar Assad’s forces.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement today saying that she is “deeply saddened and outraged” by the slaying of more than 200 men, women and children in the village of Traymseh, admitting there is “indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians.”
“As long as the Assad regime continues to wage war against the Syrian people, the international community must keep increasing the pressure on the regime to halt the violence and allow for a political solution to go forward,” Clinton said. “The Security Council should put its full weight behind the Annan plan for an immediate ceasefire and a political transition and make clear to the Syrian regime that there will be consequences for non-compliance.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters today “if there was any doubt before yesterday about the need for a coordinated international response at the United Nations, that doubt has been eliminated.”
Rubio said reports “of another civilian massacre further bolster the case to stop wasting time with the Annan peace effort and for the United States to lead an effort to stop the bloodshed.”
“The Syrian regime led by Bashar Assad and his enablers are making a mockery out of the international community and every basic norm of human decency as the regime unleashes its military to kill innocent civilians,” he said.
“How many people need to die and to how many countries does the violence need to spill into before the United States takes proactive steps to end the bloodshed?” the senator added. “The longer this tragedy goes on, the more it weakens America’s standing in the world, the less the Syrian people will trust our intentions in the region, the easier it is for individuals and organizations opposed to the United States to gain a foothold in Syria, and the more our friends in the region will be put at risk.”
He noted that reports of the Assad regime moving its chemical weapons out of storage only heighten the need to act quickly and decisively — a sentiment shared by others on Capitol Hill today.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he’s been sounding the alarm about Syria’s weapons stockpiles for some time now.
“These dangerous weapons, that include advanced shoulder-fired anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, and biological and chemical weapons, make Libya look like an antique gun show,” Rogers said. “…We cannot discount that the Assad regime could make a decision to use these weapons in an act of desperation, and we must act accordingly.”
“President Obama’s campaign admitted this week that he believes ignoring serious international threats is sometimes the best way to make them go away,” Rubio said. “This view of the world has had disastrous consequences, and nowhere is this more evident than in Syria.”