Sen. Corker: Good Call On Arming Syrian Rebels, But Vet First

Senator Corker traveled to the Jordan/Syria border in October, 2012. Here, Corker  receives a briefing on the refugee crossings at the border from Jordanian Brigadier General Hussein. Image: Office of Senator Corker

Senator Corker traveled to the Jordan/Syria border in October, 2012. Here, Corker
receives a briefing on the refugee crossings at the border from Jordanian Brigadier General Hussein. Image: Office of Senator Corker

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker says he supports President Obama’s decision to arm moderate rebel groups in Syria. It’s an idea the senator has warmed up to only recently. The White House announced yesterday that the US would provide direct support to the opposition, saying there’s confirmation that the Syrian government has chemical weapons.

In May, shortly after announcing his support for sending arms, Corker told CBS News that his support came with a caveat. The US, he says, needs to vet who receives weapons. “I think people can understand that it would be very harming to US national interests to have a country that has chemical weapons controlled by extreme elements like Al-Qaeda,” he said at the time.

In a statement Thursday night, Corker urged the president to make the case to the American people about why US action is needed in Syria. The Tennessee Republican is co-sponsoring a bill with New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez to place heavy sanctions on Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. The bill would also set up a fund to help with transition…if Assad is removed from power.

 


Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.