Jon Rainwater is executive director of Peace Action. For over 30 years, he has been active in campaigns on issues of peace, nuclear disarmament, social justice and environmental sustainability
What Can Be Done Right Now to Protect Civilians in Northeast Syria?
Currently, U.S. officials are articulating an inscrutable U.S. policy on the Turkish offensive. As challenging as it is to gain agreement at the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. should join with European states in clear, sustained opposition. Members of Congress should use tools at their disposal—starting with a cutoff of military aid and arms sales—to press Turkey to withdraw.
Meanwhile, measures should be put in place to protect civilians, including:
- Humanitarian access for the U.N. and its partner NGOs to civilians in northeast Syria so that aid and medical care can be delivered.
- Congress must also resume U.S. funding for Syria stabilization. Stabilization funds include rebuilding infrastructure for clean water and electricity, schools, and transportation that help restore stability.
- The U.S. must do its fair share to address the global refugee crisis and admit more Syrian refugees.