JC Derrick, Worldmag.com, 6/26/13
CONGRESS | House panel weighs plight of religious minorities in Syria
WASHINGTON—Despite widespread religious persecution in countries like war-torn Syria, the Obama administration is still opposed to creating a special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East, according to a State Department official who testified before Congress on Tuesday.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia made the comments at a joint subcommittee hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing room regarding the plight of religious minorities in Syria.
Last week President Barack Obama announced the United States would begin arming Syrian rebels, purportedly because Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons against his own people—which Obama had publicly characterized as a red line for U.S. intervention.