A survivor of the brutal Syrian regime had some strong words for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) after she said she would need to see more evidence before she would condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad.
As IJR previously reported, Gabbard refused to say that Assad was a war criminal despite reports from the U.S. State Department and the United Nations concluding that he used chemical weapons on his own people.
Watch Gabbard’s comments below:
Democrat Tulsi Gabbard refuses to state that she would accept intelligence findings from U.S. intel agencies
Gabbard refuses to state that Bashar al-Assad is a war criminal despite multiple government agencies stating that he gassed his own people pic.twitter.com/W9dCsZMEh2
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 11, 2019
Gabbard noted that she served in the U.S. military in Iraq in a war she claimed was “based on lies.” Because of her views on the Iraq War, Gabbard explained that she doesn’t have much trust in the existing evidence against Assad.
“It is our responsibility to exercise due diligence, to ask the tough questions, to get the evidence, before we make those very costly decisions about how and when and where our military is used,” Gabbard said. “[…] The evidence needs to be gathered [against Assad], and as I have said before: If there is evidence that he has committed war crimes, he should be prosecuted as such.”
This answer left many frustrated, as they believe there is ample evidence that Assad used chemical weapons, as the State Department and the U.N. have stated.
Omar Alshogre, an individual who survived being sent to a Syrian prison, called Gabbard out for ignoring the evidence already presented against Assad. He expressed his frustrations with Gabbard during an interview on CNN on Tuesday.
Omar Alshogre describes being tortured in a Syrian prison and responds to 2020 candidate Tulsi Gabbard not labeling Assad a war criminal: “There is a lot of evidence. There's the wounds on my body…There are survivors who can tell you about the prisons." https://t.co/cOOR9FFXCW pic.twitter.com/mkidtDecOr
— CNN (@CNN) March 12, 2019
“There is a lot of evidence. There’s the wounds on my body. There’s — not a lot — but there are survivors who can tell you about the prisons. How many people are being killed? I have a visual of my father being killed. There is a lot of evidence, a lot of videos, a lot of [documentation].”
Alshogre explained that it is important for Americans to recognize the crimes in Syria because it gives the Syrian people hope.
“We die in silence. The same thing with the other people in the war in Syria,” Alshogre said. “They know no one is caring.”
While politicians like Gabbard and former President Barack Obama may remain silent if Assad crosses a “red line” and uses chemical weapons, the Trump administration had a swift response following Assad’s attacks in the spring of 2018.
Within a week of the chemical weapon attack reports, Trump launched a series of missile strikes to take out Syrian weapons.