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- As Delivered –

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following remarks in the House of Representatives on the Assad Regime's recent chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians and the need to pass new sanctions legislation to crack down on Assad's enablers:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I want to express my revulsion at the gas attacks killing innocent Syrian civilians. One of the responses from this Congress should be when we get back, as soon as possible, we pass the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2017.

“It’s sponsored by myself and Chairman Royce. It’s named in honor of the courageous former Syrian military photographer known as Caesar who testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2014 about the Assad regime’s torture of Syrian civilians.

“This legislation passed the House in November 2016 by voice vote, but didn’t pass the other body.

“This bill requires the President to impose new sanctions on anyone who does business with or provides financing to the Government of Syria, including Syrian intelligence and security services or the Central Bank of Syria. [...] It sanctions anyone that provides aircraft or spare parts, including financing. It sanctions anyone who does business with transportation, with telecom sectors controlled by the Syrian government, or anyone who supports Syria’s energy industry.

“Mr. Speaker, we need to send a strong message to the murderous Assad regime and a strong message to Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah that we will not tolerate attacks on innocent civilians.  I yield back.”