An amendment from Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) to the Senate’s proposed authorization in Syria would require the Obama administration to craft a plan to involve Israel and Turkey in regional security and provide humanitarian relief to Syrian refugees.
The amendment revises a section of the resolution that calls for the White House to submit an integrated strategy for U.S. policy in Syria no more than 30 days after the resolution is enacted. The Coons amendment adds new language requiring coordination with Israel, Jordan and Turkey in achieving security in the region; a plan for securing any existing chemical or biological weapons; and efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria, particularly the plight of 2 million refugees and 4.5 million internally displaced Syrians.
In yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committe hearing, Coons and others raised those questions to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The Coons amendment arrives after a turbulent committee meeting behind closed doors, which consumed the morning and delayed the expected mark-up of the resolution.
Other expected amendments include new language from Sen. John McCain that would call for U.S. military strikes to help reverse the situation on the ground in Syria, which the Assad regime is generally considered to be winning.
The mark-up is now scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Wednesday.