(May 20, 2019 / JNS) A bipartisan letter signed by nearly 400 members from both sides of the aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate was sent to U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, calling on him to address threats in Syria, in addition to ensuring Israel’s safety.
“At a time of grave insecurity in the Middle East, we are deeply concerned about the role that terrorist and extremist groups and U.S. adversaries continue to play, particularly in Syria,” stated the letter. “As some of our closest allies in the region are being threatened, American leadership and support are as crucial as ever.”
The letter went on to describe the threats posed by groups, including ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Iranian proxies such as Hezbollah.
It also warns about the threat Russia poses by “working to secure a permanent presence in Syria, beyond its naval facility at Tartus.”
The congressional members recommended three elements to “limit the presence of terrorists and extremists, counter the activities of our adversaries and strengthen Israel’s security;” “underscore Israel’s right to self-defense;” “increase pressure on Iran and Russia with respect to activities in Syria;” and “increase pressure on Hezbollah.”
The letter was signed by 79 senators and 303 representatives from both parties, though Republican leadership in the House refrained.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise spokesperson Lauren Fine told JNS that the Louisiana congressman “supports the issues raised and shares these concerns. The security of Israel is of utmost importance to him, and he is confident President Trump shares those concerns as well.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney, the chairman of the House Republican Conference, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.