To: Sen. Richard Durbin (IL-1)

Durbin: Help Stop Transfer of MANPADS to Syria

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, should agree to include in his version of the Defense Appropriation the bipartisan amendment passed overwhelmingly by the House prohibiting the transfer of MANPADS to Syrian insurgents.

Why is this important?

On June 19, the House took an important step by prohibiting the transfer of MANPADS to actors in Syria. [1] House passage of the Conyers-Yoho-Welch-Amash-Grayson-DesJarlais-Nolan amendment showed that Members of the House understood that these are particularly dangerous weapons due to the possibility that they could be used by terrorists against civil aviation in Israel and elsewhere. [2] [3] [4]

Recent events in Iraq have shown that there is no border separating Sunni insurgents fighting the government of Syria from Sunni insurgents fighting the government of Iraq, nor any boundary between different groups of Sunni insurgents.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is in a unique position as Chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He could ensure that the House provision becomes law by including it in the Senate’s Defense Appropriation.

References:
1. House Votes to Ban Some, but Not All, Weapons for Syrian Rebels
http://blogs.rollcall.com/five-by-five/house-votes-to-ban-some-but-not-all-weapons-for-syrian-rebels/
2. 19 Reps say NO to MANPADS in Syria
http://fcnl.org/issues/middle_east/19_reps_syria_manpads/
3. JFP stmt: House bars transfer of MANPADS to Syria
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/1527
4. 14,000 at MoveOn - Congress: Back Welch-Jones-Mulvaney-Conyers Against Syria Manpads
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/Welch-Syria-no-manpads

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