Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria

Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard says claim her campaign is getting boost from Putin apologists is 'fake news' Momentum builds behind push to pass laws enshrining abortion rights Poll: Biden is only Dem candidate that beats Trump outside of margin of error 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 SandersBernie SandersIraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE (I-Vt.) during his 2016 campaign in the Democratic presidential primary, she met with President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE after his win in November, sparking speculation about a possible appointment.