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A Syrian mother and three children sit amid rubble in an abandoned building where they live as refugees in Lebanon.
War in Syria

Airstrikes won’t end Syrians’ suffering: what the U.S. must do next 

Photo: Jacob Russell/IRC

Words of outrage over this week’s chemical weapons attack in Idlib, Syria must evolve into action—diplomatic action to protect innocent civilians and bring about a lasting and long overdue peace. 

After launching an airstrike on Syrian military targets, the United States now bears greater responsibility for ending the suffering of Syrians, the International Rescue Committee said in a statement on April 7. 

“The world’s attention must not be allowed to waver,” said IRC president David Miliband. “For America to lead it needs to align foreign and domestic policy behind its new commitment to the people of Syria.”

Here are four things the U.S. can and must do now to help Syrians whose lives have been shattered by six years of war: 

1. End the travel ban

President Trump must immediately abandon the travel ban that undermines families who are trapped in conflict zones with nowhere to turn

There is no better way to show compassion toward Syrian refugees than to end a policy that has endangered lives and separated families.

2. Support refugee resettlement

The Trump administration should take a second look at what is already the world’s most secure and effective refugee resettlement system.

This will reaffirm that America is a compassionate nation willing to extend a lifeline to people fleeing war and persecution.

3. Abandon plans to slash foreign aid 

The Trump administration and lawmakers in Washington must reconsider the deep cuts proposed to foreign assistance.

President Trump’s fury over the horrific loss of life in Idlib is welcome, but we urge his administration to support humanitarian assistance, at risk in his proposed budgets.

4. Work for peace

President Trump and other world leaders must turn their attention to stopping further loss of life—and the only way to protect Syrians from conflict is to end the conflict.

Now that the U.S. administration has chosen to deploy military force, it has a duty to redouble diplomatic efforts toward establishing a credible path towards peace. 

How you can help

The IRC is providing critical support to families in Idlib, throughout war-torn Syria and in crisis zones around the world. Donate now.

Learn about ways you can help Syrian refugees in the United States and see how other people are making refugees welcome.