During the recent District Work Period, many constituents had questions about the situation in the Middle East. I wanted to give a brief update on two areas in particular – Egypt and Syria.
Egypt. Since July, the Egyptian military has increased their efforts on the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. This is very important and welcome news for Israel’s security. It is being reported that the military has destroyed over 152 tunnels in the Gaza Strip, which are used to smuggle weapons to Palestinians for use against Israel.
The Egyptian military has also amplified their efforts to fight Islamic militants in the Sinai. On Sunday, the Egyptian military announced they had the “upper hand” in a two-month-long campaign to rid Sinai of Islamist militants.
Syria. Many constituents have asked about what America is doing to help the people of Syria. The U.S. is contributing to a UN effort for humanitarian relief. The UN reports that a total of $5.1 billion of humanitarian assistance has been provided to assist people in Syria and address the refugee crisis in neighboring countries. Countries contributing to this effort include the United States, the European Community, the United Kingdom, Canada, private donors, and others.
Some have asked about the perceived lack of involvement by the Red Cross. You will be interested to know that in Muslim countries, the Red Crescent (a sister organization of the Red Cross) coordinates the assistance. I have been assured they are very actively engaged and risking their lives to help the Syrian people.
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to my office.
Member of Congress