Dozens of U.S. diplomats have signed an internal memo lambasting President Barack Obama’s strategy in Syria, demanding stronger military action and targeted air strikes on the country’s leader Bashar Assad.
The memo has been endorsed by 51 members of the State Department and slams Assad’s repeated violation of a cease-fire agreement amid his country’s five-year civil war, the New York Times reports. It also says American policy has been “overwhelmed” in Syria and advocates “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons” to bolster U.S. diplomatic efforts.
Obama’s military focus in the Middle Eastern nation thus far has been about eradicating the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group while attempting to win over Assad through dialogue, but the memo argues that Assad’s bombing of his own citizens is the “root cause of the instability that continues to grip Syria and the broader region.”
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