Washington D.C. – Ranking Member Eliot Engel, the senior Democratic member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on a broader U.S. strategy in Syria.

"As the Administration continues to consult with Congress and deliberate over how best to respond to last week's horrific chemical weapons attack, it is important that any potential coalition-led military operation against the Assad regime be viewed as just one part of our broader strategy on Syria. The use of limited stand-off strikes, even those powerful enough to significantly degrade the regime's military capacity, are no substitute for training and equipping the moderate opposition in Syria.

To be clear, I do not support U.S. boots on the ground. However, if we are to tip the balance against the regime while holding radical Islamist factions at bay, we must reassess our overall strategy in Syria. Specifically, we need to dramatically ramp up our military assistance to the moderate opposition, reinvigorate our regional diplomacy, and fully resource international humanitarian efforts in the region.

The choice in Syria should not be between the Assad regime and radical Islamists. Rather, we must do all we can to strengthen those who support the goal of a stable pluralist post-Assad Syria."