“The message I took back is that the United States needs to be in the leadership role of coordinating the opposition,” Cardin said. “Assad must go and should go to the Hague and be held responsible for his war crimes.”

Cardin said that the United States has provided more than $300 million in humanitarian aid to the region, but that the brunt of the burden is failing on neighbor countries where refugees are fleeing. 

Assad is believed to have killed thousands of his own people for uprising against his government. 

Cardin said that even while he was in the region the Assad regime “used scud missiles against his own people.”

Cardin said the United States was in a unique position to help coordinate humanitarian relief efforts and ensure that extremists don’t take over the region and opposition fight. 

He added that it’s “wrong” for Russia and Iran to be helping Assad by providing him with military supplies to use against Syrians.