Wednesday, September 17, 2014


WASHINGTON— Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement after voting in support of the measure to authorize the Obama Administration to train and equip the Syrian rebel army to battle the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“I agree with President Obama that the destabilizing and destructive actions of ISIL demand an American response.  While I am supportive of President Obama’s targeted actions against ISIS to date, I believe our government must be mindful of the unintended consequences inherent in training and equipping fighters in a highly complex foreign conflict.  For this reason, I authored a successful bipartisan amendment to the House’s Defense Appropriations bill this summer, prohibiting the transfer of dangerous shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles known as MANPADs to parties in the Syrian civil war. 

As President Obama uses any authority granted by Congress to train and equip Syrian rebels, I hope he honors the will of the House of Representatives to prevent the dissemination of these and other dangerous weapons in the Middle East and beyond.  

We must remain cognizant that military force is not the solution to the strife afflicting Iraq and Syria.  I continue to oppose the presence of US ground troops in the region.  We must do all we can to eliminate funding sources for ISIL and to support inclusive governance and vigorous dialogue while respecting Iraqi sovereignty.  We must also do what we can to promote a peaceful settlement in Syria and to invest in employment-focused economic development throughout the region.”

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