Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria

Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFormer Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii dies at 93 Congress, leave no H-1Bs behind Top general: Countering Iran in Syria not a US military mission MORE (D-Hawaii) secretly visited the capital of Syria on a "fact finding" mission to find an end to the six-year civil war there, according to Foreign Policy.  

Gabbard's spokeswoman, Emily Latimer, told Foreign Policy that the congresswoman “felt it was important to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders.” 

“Gabbard has long been committed to peace and ending counterproductive, interventionist wars," Latimer said.

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Latimer declined to say whether Gabbard met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose regime has been embattled by opposition rebels since 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring. 

Gabbard is an Army National Guard major and Iraq War veteran who has called for the U.S. to stop arming Syrian opposition rebels and fueling the civil war. She has also called for the U.S. to abandon its goal of removing Assad. 

“I don’t think Assad should be removed,” Gabbard told CNN in November 2015. “If Assad is removed and overthrown, ISIS, al Qaeda, Al Nusra, these Islamic extremist groups will walk straight in and take over all of Syria … they will be even stronger." 

Although she was a surrogate for Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Finance: Treasury mulls sanctions relief for Russian aluminum firm | Trump floats tying NAFTA talks to border security | 14 states hit record-low unemployment Kamala Harris will no longer accept corporate PAC money Judd Gregg: Who wins with Paul Ryan's departure? MORE (I-Vt.) during his 2016 campaign in the Democratic presidential primary, she met with President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRand's reversal advances Pompeo New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports President Trump puts on the pageantry for Macron’s visit MORE after his win in November, sparking speculation about a possible appointment.