For Immediate Release: June 21, 2012
Washington, DC – Human Rights First today said news that CIA officers are allegedly operating on the Turkey-Syria border and helping to vet the provision of weapons to the Syrian opposition raises some red flags.
“Any U.S. support to the opposition should always be in the interest of ending atrocities and advancing the peaceful democratic transition that Syrian activists and citizens have being calling for since this uprising began last year,” said Human Rights First’s Sadia Hameed. “The U.S. government must demonstrate due diligence to ensure that any weapons reaching Syria are not enabling atrocities. The United States should also step up the use of economic and political tools such as this week’s disruption of a shipment of Russian repaired helicopters that were headed to the Syrian regime.”
Human Rights First also renews its calls for Russia to immediately end its provision of arms to the Assad regime and for the United States to call for an ICC referral of crimes against humanity committed by Syrian regime forces against civilians since the uprising began.