Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued this statement following reports that Russia has commenced airstrikes in Syria:

“While Russia ramps up its military intervention in Syria, the Administration has announced it is ‘taking a pause.’  Does that mean the White House is rethinking a policy that has resulted in one embarrassing failure after another?  Planning to redouble the same efforts that have produced only a handful of trained Syrian fighters at enormous cost?  Or does it mean exactly what it says, that they are sitting without an idea of what to do as events pass them by?  We are looking at a humanitarian disaster.

“Four and a half years into this conflict, the only constant has been the Administration’s failure to come up with a plan that had any chance of defeating ISIS.  At the same time, the Russians don’t appear to be holding back in their efforts to shore up the murderous Assad Regime.  Just a week after moving supplies, troops, and jets into Syria they managed to hit a market during the morning rush and a bread distribution center a few hours after it opened.  Instead of pushing no fly and safe zones that could change the dynamics on the ground, the Administration is taking a pause?  It is time for the Administration to actively work with Congress to develop an effective Syria policy.  The costs of continued failure are far too high.”