Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement on the Syrian opposition’s evacuation of Aleppo:

“For 7,000 years, Aleppo withstood the rise and fall of great empires.  The traders, scholars and pilgrims walking its narrow streets helped spread religion and science.  It was a place where Jews, Muslims and Christians lived together. 

“Today, Aleppo lies in ruins – its people slaughtered by Assad and his Iranian and Russian backers.  We’re hearing reports of regime forces and Shia militias going door-to-door executing everyone they find, including women and children. 

“This humanitarian catastrophe is, in part, a result of President Obama’s refusal to lead.  Just weeks ago, the Obama administration blocked bipartisan efforts to cut off funding from the regime’s killing machine.  And so Assad’s ability to inflict more terror on the Syrian people remains unrestrained. With no plan and no leverage, I fear we will be unable to stop thousands more deaths as Assad trains his sights on other regions still under opposition control.”

Note: The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (H.R. 5732), introduced by Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (R-NY) to impose new sanctions on the Assad regime and its foreign enablers, passed the House unanimously in November.