JFP Statement: House bars transfer of MANPADS to Syria

June 20, 2014
10:30 AM
CONTACT: Just Foreign Policy
Robert Naiman: (202) 448-2898 x1Naiman@justforeignpolicy.org

Statement of Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy, on House passage of Conyers-Yoho amendment to prohibit transfer of MANPADS to Syria

WASHINGTON - June 20 - “The House took an important step last night by prohibiting the transfer of MANPADS to actors in Syria. House passage of the Conyers-Yoho-Welch-Amash-Grayson-DesJarlais-Nolan amendment by voice vote with the agreement of bipartisan leadership shows that Members of the House understand that these are particularly dangerous weapons due to the possibility that they could be used by terrorists against civil aviation in Israel and elsewhere and that Members are concerned by press reports that the Administration has been considering authorizing their transfer to actors in Syria. These concerns were highlighted in a June 5 lettersigned by 19 Representatives, led by Reps. Welch, Jones, Mulvaney, and Nolan, and in a petition at MoveOn signed by 14,000 Americans.

“The fact that 167 Members of the House voted for Rep. Fortenberry’s amendment to prohibit all arming of Syrian insurgents shows that there is significant concern in the House about the present policy of arming Syrian insurgents. Recent events in Iraq have shown that there is no border separating Sunni insurgents fighting the government of Syria from Sunni insurgents fighting the government of Iraq, nor any boundary between different groups of Sunni insurgents. We thank Representative Fortenberry for forcing a House vote on this issue. Arming Syrian insurgents is an act of war that should be debated and voted on by the whole Congress in open session, not just considered by the intelligence committees in closed session.

“We look forward to working with Members of the Senate to pass companion legislation to the Conyers-Yoho amendment so that there will be no doubt that transferring MANPADS to actors in Syria will not be possible without explicit approval by the whole Congress.”

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Just Foreign Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that engages Americans in working to reform U.S. foreign policy so that it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.

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