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CDS Welcomes State Department Dissent Memo


Washington, DC – The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) welcomes a memo drafted by 51 members of the State Department calling for the U.S. to carry out strikes against the Assad Regime, as a means to compel the Assad regime to end indiscriminate attacks on civilians and make real concessions at the negotiating table. Any military efforts against Assad directly counter ISIL propaganda as well as allow opposition figures to dedicate further energy to fighting ISIS.

The memo, prepared and submitted through the official “dissent channel” by diplomats involved at different levels of the Syrian peace process, calls for “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process.” The memo states, “The moral rationale for taking steps to end the deaths and suffering in Syria, after five years of brutal war, is evident and unquestionable. The status quo in Syria will continue to present increasingly dire, if not disastrous, humanitarian, diplomatic and terrorism-related challenges.”

Last week, Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian allies, gave a speech before Parliament repudiating the peace process and declaring his intention to retake "every inch" of Syria by military force, casting further doubt on the ability of current U.S. policy to achieve its stated aims.

“Past challenges through the dissent channel have been powerful enough to influence the White House to adopt policies meant to protect civilian life,” said CDS Chairman Yahya Basha. “We hope that this Administration will reform its policy so as to protect Syrians and push for an end to this brutal regime.”

The memo marks the first broad-based challenge of official U.S. Syria policy from within the Obama Administration.

The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization. CDS includes: Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Council, Syrian Christians for Peace, the Association of Free Syrians, and the American Syriac Union


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