Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria

Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe OFF Act will mandate a swift and just transition to clean energy House panel approves 6.5B defense policy bill Jane Sanders starts group to boost ‘progressive voices’ 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) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE (I-Vt.) during his 2016 campaign in the Democratic presidential primary, she met with President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE after his win in November, sparking speculation about a possible appointment.