Mitt Romney attacked President Obama on Wednesday over reports that Russia was arming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces with high-powered weaponry, calling it a failure in Obama's foreign policy.
“President Obama’s ‘reset’ policy toward Russia has clearly failed,” Romney said in a statement. “Russia has openly armed and protected a murderous regime in Syria, frustrated international sanctions on Iran, and opposed American efforts on a range of issues. This is an unfortunate failure of President Obama's foreign policy.”
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney condemned Russia for providing Syria with attack helicopters, saying the president will discuss this issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin in upcoming G-20 talks.
“Those arms … are being used by the Assad forces to bring about the violence that they're perpetrating on their own people,” Carney said at the White House press briefing. “We strongly believe that arms shipments to the Assad regime are the wrong thing to be doing and that that only heightens the violence against the Syrian people.”
Romney has joined some Republicans in Washington in calling on the Obama administration to provide armaments to opposition forces, seeing a moral imperative in helping end the conflict. The president has been hesitant to take action like he did in Libya, in part because of the lack of unity among opposition forces.
The former Massachusetts governor has taken a hard-line approach to Russia, at one point calling it the No. 1 geopolitical foe of the U.S. This statement has been widely criticized by Democrats and by Colin Powell, who served as secretary of State under George W. Bush.