Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement applauding recent findings by a UN panel accusing Bashar al-Assad's regime of crimes against humanity.
"The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was right to accuse the Assad regime and its security forces of committing crimes against humanity. The Commission's findings, along with last week's unprecedented vote in the UN General Assembly condemning human rights abuses by the Syrian regime -- as well as unprecedented sanctions by the Arab League and demands by key neighbors that Assad resign -- underscores that the world will no longer countenance the Syrian government's unceasing brutality. While the U.S. has led international efforts to condemn Syria in the UN, there are further actions the Administration should undertake on its own that will hasten the downfall of Bashar al-Assad, such as sanctioning additional individuals and entities complicit in the regime's violent crackdown on demonstrators. At a minimum, senior Syrian military, Baath party officials, regime-controlled commercial entities on the European Union sanctions list should also be targeted by relevant U.S. sanctions."