U.S. Lawmakers Raise Alarm About ISIS Attacks Against Syria’s Druze Population by John Hudson – Washington Post
Despite President Trump’s repeated claims that the Islamic State has been defeated, the militant group remains a deadly threat to minority populations in Syria, causing concern among U.S. lawmakers that recent atrocities are being overlooked.
In July, the Islamic State killed more than 200 people and took 31 hostages in a rampage on Sweida, a city in southwestern Syria inhabited by members of the Druze religious minority. The attack was one of the single-biggest massacres of the Syrian civil war and a reminder of the threat posed by the Islamic State despite its loss of territory.
Last week, a group of Democratic lawmakers urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser John Bolton to condemn the attack and keep Washington’s focus on ISIS, rather than expanding its mission to curbing Iran’s presence in the country.
“We write to express concerns regarding the administration’s failure to condemn the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attack against the Druze community in Sweida, Syria on July 25, 2018,” the lawmakers, led by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), said in a letter obtained by The Washington Post. “We also are concerned about recent reports that the administration has embraced an expanded mission in Syria beyond the complete defeat of ISIS, which may detract from protecting displaced persons and minority populations from ISIS’s continued terrorist threat.”
A State Department spokesman said the United States is working on a response to the letter..