Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 20, 2012
The American Syrian Coalition (ASC) today thanked Congressman Jim Moran for introducing a measure to end the Department of Defense’s (DoD) arms contract with Rosoboronexport, a major Russian state-owned arms manufacturer supplying weapons to Syria’s Assad regime. The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to end the contract.
The amendment was adopted by a vote of 407-5, and was attached to the 2013 defense spending bill that passed the US House of Representatives and now moves to the Senate.
The Army has a $375 million, no-bid contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-run arms trader, to buy 21 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan’s air force. Pentagon officials have previously said Washington retained the option to place an order for an additional 12 helicopters, bringing the total value of the no-bid contract to about $1 billion. It is important to note that Roxoboranexport was under sanctions, explicitly named on the U.S. Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) list from 2008-2010 for allegedly supplying Syria and Iran with equipment designed for the creation of weapons of mass destruction.
“Today the House did the right thing and voted to end the DoD contract with the Russian firm that is indirectly killing innocent Syrians everyday,” said Mohammed A. Ghanem, Government Relations Director of the Syrian American Council (SAC). “As Assad intensifies his terror campaign against the Syrian people simply because they are seeking freedom and democracy, this vote is crucial because it shows the Syrian people that we stand in solidarity with them.”
The ASC was formed in April of 2012 to coordinate the efforts of various Syrian-American groups. The coalition’s members are: the Syrian American Council (SAC), the Syrian Expatriates Organization, the Syrian Emergency Task Force, and United for a Free Syria.