Tags: Syria | MSNBC | Morning Joe | Ed Royce | Humanitarian Aid

Royce: Bipartisan Legislation Necessary to Effect Change in Syria

By    |   Tuesday, 20 September 2016 12:25 PM

The international community believed it had negotiated a cease-fire in Syria in order to allow humanitarian aid to come in, but Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad's regime violated the agreement 30 times within its first few hours, House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ed Royce said Tuesday.

"We saw their Air Force attack the humanitarian relief supplies that were coming in," the California Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, noting he was at the nation's southern border recently.

"They have given no agreement to any of the food coming in, and then when we finally got an agreement, we turn around and see they attack them from the air. So they need to be called on this, and in a bipartisan effort, myself and my ranking Democrat member have legislation up in the House that we are trying to get through in order to push additional pressure on that regime."

However, he continued, the Obama administration is "skittish" about the United States becoming involved in the Syrian civil war.

"The bipartisan legislation would be the first step in cutting off the ability of Assad's war machine," Royce said.

In a more perfect world, he continued, the United States would have taken advice from those on the ground and other partners to establish a safe zone in the north and southern parts of Syria for the 14 million refugees either fleeing ISIS or the civil war.

Show co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Royce if he feels comfortable with GOP nominee Donald Trump's "embrace" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, given Russia's role in the violence in Syria.

"Won't it be more difficult if he is elected to get any pushback against Russia?" she asked.

"I have seen every presidential candidate do this, reach out and claim they were going to do a reset with Putin," Royce responded, prompting Brzezinski, a frequent critic of Trump's, to exclaim, "it's a little different. Can we be on the same planet here that this is a little different?"

"I think the reality here is that what we need to do with respect to Vladimir Putin is pass the legislation, the bipartisan bill that we brought up that would have third party sanctions," said Royce. "The planes being used right now by Assad are Russian planes, and the parts come from Russia, and the support comes from Russia and Iran."

Any initiative, he continued, would cut off Russia and Iran from propping up Assad in "what has now become an effort of ethnic cleansing."

He also called on the United Nations to "launch an all-out offensive here in order to rally the international community and the United States should put forward an initiative in the security council to do this and force Russia's hand on this."

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The international community believed it had negotiated a cease-fire in Syria in order to allow humanitarian aid to come in, but Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad's regime violated the agreement 30 times within its first few hours, House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ed Royce said Tuesday.
MSNBC, Morning Joe, Ed Royce, Humanitarian Aid
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2016-25-20
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 12:25 PM
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