Ceasefire Staves Off Imminent Humanitarian Crisis

Comprehensive U.S. Engagement Still Needed to Ensure Security

October 17, 2019

Washington, DC — Today, Americans for a Free Syria (AFS) cautiously welcomed the White House announcement of a ceasefire in northeast Syria:

“This ceasefire will at least pause the horrific downward spiral we witnessed in the past few days in northern Syria. Turkey and the United States must work together to address border security issues while protecting Syrian civilians of all faiths and backgrounds. Failure to do so would risk a humanitarian crisis, ethnic conflict, ISIS resurgence and Assad regime advances backed by Iranian terrorist groups and Russian air power. While Turkey implements its side of the agreement, U.S. troops must return to their posts. Though the threat of sanctions should remain on the table to send a clear message and deter against future military escalation, Congress needs to give this diplomatic breakthrough a chance and encourage Turkey’s compliance with the ceasefire. Further, we must return to the jointly-patrolled buffer zone that provides Turkey with assurances that terrorist groups cannot attack its citizens from inside Syria, and that ISIS cannot regroup,” said Erica Hanichak, Government Relations Director at AFS. “At the same time, we must look at the conflict more broadly: Assad, Russia and Iran have retaken additional territory in the past week, and Idlib province in the northwest remains under constant bombardment by Syrian regime and Russian warplanes. Half a million victims of Assad’s bloodlust cry out for justice. That’s why Congress must pass the Caesar Act today and hold war criminals accountable.”

AFS has released nine policy recommendations for U.S. officials, including prioritizing civilian protection and increasing pressure on Assad, Russia and Iran: https://freesyria.org/comprehensive-u-s-led-initiative-needed-to-restore-stability-in-northeast-syria/.

Americans for a Free Syria (AFS) is a non-partisan, non-profit that advocates for human rights, the rule of law and U.S. national security interests in Syria.