To: The United States House of Representatives

Obama: Don't Send Weapons to Syria That Threaten Civilian Planes

Sign the Conyers-Yoho letter to President Obama against sending shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles (“Manpads”) to Syria.

Why is this important?

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) have initiated a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him to maintain his policy of refusing to transfer shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles (“Manpads”) to Syrian combatants. This letter highlights the repeated votes by the House of Representatives in 2015 and 2016 that prohibited the use of any DOD funds to transfer Manpads to any party in the Syrian Civil War.

Manpads can be fired at aircraft by individuals on the ground and easily hidden or transported in the trunk of a car. U.S. and Israeli officials have expressed concern that they could be used by terrorists to bring down commercial airliners. Since their first use against a civilian aircraft in 1978, thirty fatal MANPAD attacks have resulted in almost 1,000 civilian deaths.

While the Obama Administration had previously opposed the transfer of MANPADs to parties in Syria, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Saudi Arabia and Turkey have increased pressure on Washington to up the ante in support of the moderate opposition in part by calling for the introduction of weapons systems that they know are a red line for Mr. Obama, such as Manpads.” [1]

The transfer of these dangerous weapons to any non-state actor would be irresponsible, but the transfer to opposition groups in Syria could be particularly dangerous. Weapons transferred to Syrian insurgents in the past have wound up being used by insurgents in Iraq against the U.S.-backed Iraqi army and have been captured by terrorist groups Al-Nusra and ISIS.

Urge your Representative to sign the Conyers-Yoho letter against sending Manpads to Syria by signing our petition.