WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the removal of chemical weapons from Syria:

“The removal today of chemical weapons material from Syria is an important achievement. More than 1,000 tons of deadly chemicals have been taken away from the Assad regime. Also, Syria’s chemical weapon production facilities have been largely destroyed. However, the job is not yet complete. The Assad regime may be hiding additional chemical weapons material and it has repeatedly used weaponized chlorine against the Syrian people.

“While we acknowledge this progress, we know that nothing can bring back the victims of the Assad regime’s unconscionable use of chemical weapons. At the same time, Assad and his henchmen continue their brutal campaign of horrific killing. They will be stopped and held accountable for their crimes against humanity only when we change the balance of power on the ground by providing arms to carefully vetted members of the moderate Syrian opposition.”