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The Syrian Emergency Task Force Organized High-level Congressional Delegation Visit to Türkiye and Northwest Syria

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08/28/2023

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) is proud to announce its recent collaboration with esteemed members of the United States Congress for a congressional delegation visit to Türkiye and non-regime-controlled Northwest Syria, marking the first time a U.S. delegation visited Syria since former Senator John McCain in 2014. This trip provided a firsthand opportunity for lawmakers to witness the critical situation on the ground and engage in discussions with impacted Syrians and key stakeholders. 

The congressional delegation that visited the region from August 26th to 29th included members of Congress who have shown a deep commitment to addressing the situation in Syria. Representatives French Hill (R-AR), Ben Cline (R-VA), and Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI) had the opportunity to engage with local leaders and displaced communities to gain insights into the challenges faced by Syrians daily. 

On August 27th, the Congressmen entered Northwest Syria through the Bab al-Salameh border crossing, where they received a warm welcome with flowers from the children of the SETF Wisdom House Kindergarten. The children bravely shared their stories of enduring continuous bombardment by Assad and its allies, resulting in displacement, family losses, and orphanhood. The delegation returned to Gaziantep, Türkiye for a private meeting with the Syrian interim government. They visited the SETF House of Healing to meet displaced Syrians suffering from critical medical conditions. The delegation also met with Raed al Saleh, head of the Syria Civil Defence (White Helmets), to discuss their rescue efforts on the ground and the struggles they faced during the earthquake. 

“Bringing congressional delegations to witness the reality in the region and meet the people on the ground is an essential step in raising awareness about the crimes committed by the Assad regime and its allie. We hope this trip can address the dire humanitarian and human rights situations affecting the lives of Syrian people by advocating for meaningful and effective policies to alleviate their suffering and hold the Assad regime accountable. We need American leadership now more than ever as protests against the Assad regime across Suwayda and other cities continue,” said Mouaz Moustafa, Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force. 

This monumental visit provides a substantial opportunity to strengthen the United States policy and position against the criminal Assad regime, which continues to commit crimes against humanity and war crimes with impunity amidst increasing normalization efforts in the region and beyond.

 

For press inquiries please contact:
Maria Cure
Director of Communications
[email protected]