American lawmakers made a rare visit to north-west Syria over the weekend, highlighting the “ongoing humanitarian catastrophe” that has been plaguing the region over the past decade.
Arriving on Sunday from Turkiye through the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, three Republican members of the United States’ Congress – Ben Cline, Scott Fitzgerald and French Hill – visited the rebel-held territories of north-western Syria in a visit that reportedly lasted around 30 minutes.
Organised by the US-based advocacy and humanitarian group, Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), the visit saw the delegation being greeted by orphaned children from a kindergarten in the northern Aleppo countryside, as well as meeting internally-displaced Syrians, opposition figures and aid workers.
Celine Kasem, an activist and member of the SETF, told the media outlet, Al Jazeera, that the “members of Congress crossed into Syria to renew attention to the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe”.
She added that the orphan children “spoke to the delegation about how they have lived under bombardment from Assad, Iran and Russia consistently, which displaced them and resulted in the loss of their families, becoming orphans”.
The visit is the first such visit by US officials or lawmakers to opposition-held areas of Syria since 2017, when Congress members, led by late Senator John McCain – a prominent advocate of American military aid for the Syrian opposition against the Assad regime – made a significant visit to the region.
This latest visit comes a week after the Syrian opposition’s provisional government announced a meeting in Turkiye between its leader, Abdurrahman Mustafa, and US State Department envoy to north and east Syria, Nicholas Granger.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)