Coons says he’s worried ‘we will see Ukraine turn into Syria’

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) gives an opening statement during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday, March 21, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said on Sunday said he is worried that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could turn it into Syria if the U.S. and western allies don’t do more to help Kyiv further offset the Russian invasion.

During an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” moderator Margaret Brennan asked Coons about whether he wants to see U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine, a move that the Biden administration has all but said is off the table to avoid escalating the conflict.

Brennan asked Coons about public remarks he’d made recently about the country needing to consider sending U.S. troops into Ukraine.

“In some public remarks this week, you said the country needs to talk about when it might be willing to send troops to Ukraine. You said if the answer is never, then we are inviting another level of escalation and brutality by Putin. Are you arguing that President Biden- was wrong when he said he would not send troops to Ukraine? Are you asking him to set a red line?” Brennan asked.

While Coons suggested the U.S. ought to supply Ukrainians with more defense capabilities, he did not provide details on what else could be possible.

“Margaret, I think those of us in Congress who have a critical role in setting foreign policy and in advising the president in terms of his decisions as commander in chief, need to look clearly at the level of brutality,” Coons told Brennan. “This is a moment of enormous challenge for all of us. And I deeply respect President Biden’s leadership in pulling together the West and imposing crushing sanctions on Russia.”

“If Vladimir Putin, who has shown us how brutal he can be, is allowed to just continue to massacre civilians, to commit war crimes throughout Ukraine without NATO, without the West coming more forcefully to his aid, I great- I deeply worry that what’s going to happen next is that we will see Ukraine turn into Syria,” Coons told Brennan. 

“The American people cannot turn away from this tragedy in Ukraine. I think the history of the 21st century turns on how fiercely we defend freedom in Ukraine and that Putin will only stop when we stop him,” Coons concluded.

Tags CBS News Chris Coons Chris Coons Joe Biden Margaret Brennan Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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