U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement today regarding confirmed reports that the Assad regime in Syria has used chemical weapons in the conflict there:
"According to administration reports and the assessments of some of our closest allies, chemical weapons have been introduced into the Syrian conflict. It's clear the "red line' drawn by President Obama has now been crossed. The time for passive engagement in this conflict must come to an end.
"It is in the vital national security interest of our nation to see Assad's removal. He is Iran's closest ally in the region and a tyrant who has been murdering his own people for more than two years, while threatening regional stability. We must not allow Assad to continue violating all international norms by using these vile weapons and allowing Syria to descend further into chaos and instability. This will have disastrous consequences for U.S. interests for decades to come.
"I urge President Obama to explain to Congress and the American people how he will ensure Syria's chemical and biological weapons stockpiles are secured, how we'll work with our allies to prevent further use of these deadly weapons, and what additional measures he is ready to take to follow through on his previous statements."