In response to the potential sale of advanced arms from Russia to Syria, U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) released the following statement:
"At a time when U.S. interests and the interests of our allies in the Middle East are being challenged in new, increasingly complex and dangerous ways, any transfer of arms from Russia to Syria, in particular advanced air defense systems, is not only counterproductive but unnecessarily risky. This move would only further prop up the delegitimized government of Bashar al-Assad as he continues to oppress and murder his own people, and would seriously dampen the prospects of a transitional government. Such weapons would help to maintain the current status quo of chaos and civil war within Syria. Any transfer of arms from Russia to the Syrian regime of al-Assad is simply unacceptable and constitutes an irresponsible and grave act that will only prolong human suffering. We must instead focus on building the capacity of Syria's neighbors to deal with both the humanitarian crisis present and the security threat of an unstable and volatile Syria."
On Wednesday, it was reported that Russia plans to sell advanced surface-to-air missile systems to Syria.
Schneider, a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has been vocal about the need to replace Bashar al-Assad and move to a transitional government. He also called on the Iraqi government to crack down on Iran's use of Iraqi airspace to transfer arms to al-Assad and questioned the former U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, on the future of national unity and regional stability as the crisis continues in Syria.