US House of Representatives passes law prohibiting normalization with Syrian regime

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a move aimed at holding the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad accountable for the atrocities it has committed against the Syrian people, the US House of Representatives passed the Assad Anti-Normalisation Act on Wednesday. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, prohibits the normalization of relations between Washington and Syria under President Bashar Al-Assad’s leadership.

The Act, championed by Republican chairman Joe Wilson and co-sponsored by 52 congresspersons, received overwhelming approval with 389 votes in favor and 32 against. This legislative push signifies a robust stance against the Assad regime’s egregious human rights violations, including mass war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Mouaz Moustafa, the Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), hailed the bill as a crucial step in holding the Assad regime and its collaborators accountable. Moustafa emphasized the humanitarian imperative behind the legislation, which extends the Caesar sanctions regime until 2032, preventing the US from recognizing or engaging with the Assad government.

While critics argue that the sanctions have exacerbated economic hardships for the Syrian populace, proponents like Moustafa assert that they are instrumental in ensuring aid reaches civilians directly, bypassing the Assad regime’s obstructionist tactics.

The Act’s passage comes amidst international scrutiny following the Arab League’s controversial decision to reinstate Syria’s membership, despite widespread condemnation from Syrian human rights groups. Several Arab states have moved to normalize diplomatic relations with the Assad regime, prompting swift action from the US Congress to reaffirm its stance against normalization with a regime responsible for untold suffering.

According to the American Coalition for Syria, this new law is considered the strongest of its kind since the adoption of the Caesar Act and includes important repercussions for those allied with the Syrian regime.