Response from Senator McCaskill

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

On August 21, 2013, the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own citizens, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocent men, women, and children.  This type of act violates both the international prohibition on the use of such weapons and a government’s basic duty to protect its people.  I strongly condemn this abominable action, and I believe the Syrian leaders responsible must be held accountable.

A peaceful end to the volatile conflict in Syria must remain a diplomatic priority for the international community and the United States, and we must work with our allies to prevent the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons in the future.  I support ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold the Syrian government accountable for their use of chemical weapons and require them to turn over their remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons to international forces to be destroyed.

I believe the President has made an important case for why Syria’s use of chemical weapons has serious implications for America’s national security and that a credible threat of military force can strengthen the chances of a diplomatic solution.  Absent a peaceful resolution, we must carefully consider any further engagement in Syria.  I continue to weigh the possible consequences of military action.  I will continue to engage with my colleagues, evaluate classified information, and monitor the evolving situation, and I will continue to view the difficult questions related to Syria with the experiences our nation has had in Iraq and Afghanistan close in mind.