STATEMENT BY SENATORS McCAIN AND LIEBERMAN AT SYRIAN REFUGEE CAMP IN HATAY, TURKEY As Syrians are fleeing for their lives, Turkey is welcoming them into their country by the thousands. This has not been easy or cost-free for Turkey, but it is the right thing to do, .........
BigNews.Biz - Apr 11,2012 - STATEMENT BY SENATORS McCAIN AND LIEBERMAN AT SYRIAN REFUGEE CAMP IN HATAY, TURKEY
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) treleased the following joint statement during their visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Hatay, Turkey, near the Turkish-Syrian border.
“We want to thank the government of Turkey for making this visit possible. We are enormously grateful for Turkey's support.
“We also want to thank the Turkish government and people for the overwhelming generosity they are showing to their Syrian neighbors in need. As Syrians are fleeing for their lives, Turkey is welcoming them into their country by the thousands. This has not been easy or cost-free for Turkey, but it is the right thing to do, and it demonstrates the compassion of Turkey's great democracy.
“Contrary to some media reports, our visit today is completely separate from that of former Secretary General Kofi Annan.
“We respect Mr. Annan's desire to find an end to the killing in Syria. Unfortunately, Bashar al-Assad does not share this goal. That fact has been clear to many of us for months, but it should now be undeniable for everyone. Indeed, reports indicate that Assad has used the time provided by the recent diplomatic initiative to kill up to 1,000 additional men, women, and children in Syria. And just yesterday, Syrian forces fired across the border with Turkey, killing and wounding people in a refugee camp on Turkish territory.
“Over the past few days, we have met with senior Turkish leaders, with the leadership of the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army, with young members of the Syrian resistance, with defectors from the Assad regime, and with Syrian refugees. All of the Syrians we met with are grateful for the humanitarian assistance that many nations are providing, as are we. But this does not change the basic fact: The international community is failing the people of Syria.
“Make no mistake: The situation in Syria is an armed conflict. This is a war. Diplomacy with Assad has failed, and it will continue to fail so long as Assad thinks he can defeat the opposition in Syria militarily. And right now, using tanks and artillery and even attack helicopters, Assad has the upper hand on the battlefield.
“The slaughter in Syria has now claimed more than 10,000 lives. And it is not a fair fight. Assad is being armed and resupplied by Russia and Iran. There are reports of Iranian operatives on the ground and in the fight with Assad's forces. Meanwhile, the resistance in Syria has only small arms. We are told that they are running out of ammunition, and that bullets now cost four dollars each on the black market. Getting communications equipment to the opposition in Syria, as the United States and others have pledged to do, can help. But that doesn't do much against tanks.
“Under these conditions, no one should think that Assad will stop killing and leave power anytime soon. Indeed, the unanimous