- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

President Trump notified Congress Tuesday that he is extending U.S. sanctions and other national-security actions against Syria due to the government’s use of chemical and biological weapons in its long-running civil war.

“The regime’s brutality and repression of the Syrian people, who have been calling for freedom and a representative government, not only endangers the Syrian people themselves, but also generates instability throughout the region,” Mr. Trump said.

He added that the actions of President Bashar Assad’s government “continue to foster the rise of extremism and sectarianism and pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

Mr. Trump ordered a series of missile strikes against a Syrian military base last month in response to Mr. Assad’s forces launching a chemical-weapons attack against civilians.

The U.S. national-emergency sanctions against Syria have been in place since 2004.

Mr. Trump said the U.S. “condemns the Assad regime’s use of brutal violence and human rights abuses and calls on the Assad regime to stop its violence against the Syrian people,” uphold a ceasefire to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and “allow a political transition in Syria that will forge a credible path to a future of greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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