Gabbard's Record on Syria and Assad

Gabbard voted with 242 Republicans (and 46 other Democrats) to pass HR 4038, requiring supplemental certifications and background investigations to be completed prior to the admission of certain aliens as refugees, essentially blocking 10,000 Syrian refugees from resettling in the United States.

Gabbard and two Republicans were the only members of Congress  to vote against H CON RES 121:  "Expressing the sense of the Congress condemning the gross violations of international law amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Government of Syria, its allies, and other parties to the conflict in Syria."

Just before Trump's inauguration, Tulsi Gabbard went to Lebanon, and "unexpectedly" was invited to Syria by Bashar Al-Assad, whom she met with twice. She also met with Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun, who is one of three who signed execution orders for thousands of political prisoners in a Syrian jail, Minister of Reconciliation Ali Haidar, and Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari.

After the chemical attacks in Khan Sheikhoun, Gabbard condemned the US missile strikes, questioning assertions that Assad was responsible for the attacks.

Gabbard Calls for Assad Prosecution and Execution if Found Guilty

April 06, 2017

Gabbard:  "A successful prosecution of Assad (at the International Criminal Court) will require collection of evidence from the scene of the incident, and I support the United Nation's efforts in this regard. Without such evidence, a successful prosecution is impossible." She also said that if Assad were found guilty she would call for his "prosecution and execution."

 

Gabbard has not even commented on any of the independent investigations that have been reported on in the last year linking Assad to the attacks, including:

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In Feruary 2017, Law Professor Ryan Scoville analyzed whether Gabbard's trip violated House rules, US laws, or the Constitution.

 
 
 
 

The timing of many of Gabbard's actions including this vote can be linked to the timing of campaign contributions.

 

Muslims Unhappy with Gabbard Meeting with Assad

February through May 2017

Muslims and Syrians throughout the country were critical of Gabbard's visit with Assad.

 

Hakim Ouansafi, chairman of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, said, "it is absolutely no different than saying we want to help the victims of the Holocaust, and then you go and meet with Hitler twice." 

In February 2017, three Syrian women protested Gabbard for meeting with Assad. Two of the women are members of the Syrian American Council (SAC), a grassroots organization that carries out awareness-raising and advocacy in support for Syrians seeking to build a free and democratic Syria. The third person chose not to disclose her identity in order not to endanger her family in Syria.

In May 2017, Progressive Syrian activist Shiyam Galyon explained why Tulsi Gabbard's stance on Syria was ill-informed and not progressive.

 

Interruption at Muslims for Peace Event

March 5, 2017

When Gabbard spoke at a Rutgers University event in March 2017, she was interrupted by several protesters.

In Gabbard's version of her speech, posted at her website and on Youtube, the beginning of her speech is cut and there are no interruptions.

Hamid Imam, a Syrian-American activist, who was one of the protesters at the event was interviewed by Struggle Video Media.

 

Gabbard States Assad Committed to Open Elections

In March 2, 2017 interview with Ryan Grim of The Young Turks, Gabbard stated that at her meeting with Assad, he agreed to holding fair and open elections with objective international observers. (Scroll to 4:29.)

Gabbard States that Assad is not an Enemy of the US 

On February 6, 2019,  Gabbard said that Bashar al-Assad is not a direct U.S. foe but is not a good person. She also said it's 'possible' he used chemical weapons on Syrians.

Gabbard States that There is No Disputing that Assad Used Chemical Weapons on "The View" 

On February 20, 2019, Gabbard said: "An enemy of the United States is someone who threatens our safety and our security. There is no disputing the fact that Bashar al-Assad in Syria is a brutal dictator. There’s no disputing the fact that he has used chemical weapons and other weapons against his people. There are other terrorist groups in Syria who have used similar chemical weapons and other weapons of terror against the people of Syria.” (Scroll to 5:30)

Gabbard States that Assad is not a War Criminal

On March 10, 2019, at a CNN Town Hall at SXSW, Gabbard stated:  “I think that the evidence needs to be gathered and, as I have said before, if there is evidence that he has committed war crimes, he shall be prosecuted as such."

Gabbard States that Assad is not a War Criminal

On March 10, 2019, at a CNN Town Hall at SXSW, Gabbard stated:  “I think that the evidence needs to be gathered and, as I have said before, if there is evidence that he has committed war crimes, he shall be prosecuted as such."

Gabbard States that Reports Show that Assad has Used Chemical Weapons

On March 11, 2019, when Stephen Colbert asked Tulsi Gabbard on the Late Show whether Assad had gassed his own people, she said: “Yes, reports have shown that's a fact." She denied that she had ever suggested otherwise and stated that “reports have shown chemical weapons attacks have been used by both the Syrian government as well as by the terrorist groups who are fighting in Syria.” (Scroll to 4:22)

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