U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement in response to U.S. officials confirming the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against rebel forces:
"Today, the Administration confirmed that the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons. It is clear that the Assad regime will cling to power by any means necessary, embroiling the entire region in bloodshed.
"As a nation, we must be deliberate in addressing this troubling revelation and take measured action to support the opposition forces, while continuing aid to help stabilize the region. We must pursue a strategic policy that seeks to limit the ability of the Assad regime to continue the use of weapons of mass destruction and work with our allies to secure the chemical stockpiles. We also must partner with Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan in building their capacity to address the growing humanitarian crisis of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.
"And as we seek a transition from the Assad regime, we must continue working to block arms transfers from Russia and Iran to the Syrian regime."
Schneider has been vocal about the need to replace President Bashar al-Assad and move to a transitional government. He called on Secretary of State John Kerry to prevent the Russian transfer of advanced weapons to Assad, urged the Iraqi government to crack down on Iran's use of Iraqi airspace to transfer arms to Assad and questioned former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford on the future of national unity and regional stability as the crisis continues in Syria.