Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after news that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against its own populace.

"In using chemical weapons, Assad has committed a war crime against his own people. What more does the civilized world need in order to come to the aid of the Syrian people who want to rid themselves of this monster? The President's 'red line' has clearly been crossed, and it is crystal clear that the United States must provide appropriate arms to those in Syria fighting for their lives and freedom. Further delay is not an option."

In March, Representative Engel introduced the Free Syria Act (FSA) of 2013, the most comprehensive congressional bill on Syria. The legislation authorizes the President to provide appropriate assistance, including limited lethal equipment, to vetted Syrian opposition members, increase humanitarian assistance to affected Syrian populations, and begins planning for a post-Assad Syria.

He is also the author of the Syria Accountability Act, which imposed the toughest-ever sanctions on the Assad regime, signed into law in 2004.