Death tolls surpassed 50,000, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, due to the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6. The two earthquakes hit a magnitude of 7.8 following another of 7.5 with thousands of aftershocks. The disaster has left a devastating death toll and multitudes without shelter in freezing conditions. As the Assad regime prevented the United Nations from assisting border crossings between Turkey and Syria, this act called a resolution, calling on the Biden administration to use diplomatic tools to open all borders through the United Nations Security Council for the desperate assistance needed as the people suffer needlessly.
The resolution was taken to House Leaders in a vote on whether or not the United States should intervene and ensure emergency aid was delivered to victims of the devastating quakes. Representative Bill Keating called Assad's moves "reprehensible and cynical," House leaders strongly condemned the Assad regime for their efforts to "cynically exploit the disaster to evade international pressure and accountability." Specifically accusing Assad of exploiting the disaster to move back onto the global stage to portray an international pariah.
Representative Joe Wilson, the resolution's sponsor, urged American families to pray for and extend condolences to the people of Turkey and Syria. Then, followed by a message to the Assad regime and its backers, one being war criminal Putin, "your diversion of humanitarian aid during an earthquake is despicable… The United States Congress stands united. We will never normalize with you, and will not stop supporting the people of Syria to have a government they deserve…."
The resolution was not only calling for diplomatic tools but an "increased oversight mechanism" that would ensure U.S. funding would not be diverted to benefit the Assad regime. Exactly how the oversight mechanism would be set in place is unclear. Applauding the amount of aid and rescue workers, civilians who selflessly assisted with the devastating aftermath, most of the House referred to their "heroic work."
Recognizing controversy over the United States intervening in conflict outside our own country, this resolution seems to be more of a humanitarian effort as opposed to the assistance of war. The resolution passed Monday, Feb. 27, with an outstanding 412-2, with Representative Thomas Massie opposing the measure along with Marjorie Taylor Greene. On Feb. 6, Greene tweeted, "Praying for Turkey and other countries suffering through deadly earthquakes." However, she has been noted as an extremist calling for America to stop funding other countries, such as Ukraine's defense against Russia's invasion.
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