ALOHA

Tulsi Gabbard Made Secret Trip to Syria

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has reportedly left Syria after an undisclosed “fact-finding mission” that aides say she made in an attempt to seek an end to the ravaged nation’s nearly six-year civil war. According to Foreign Policy, the Hawaii Democrat, a frequent critic of U.S. policy toward Syria, met with “individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders.” However, a Gabbard spokeswoman refused on Wednesday to say if the congresswoman also met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “citing security and logistical concerns,” FP reported. Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran, has previously argued that Assad should not be removed from office, despite his controversial reign in which 400,000 Syrians have been killed and mass human-rights violations and war crimes by his forces have been widely reported. Gabbard met privately with President-elect Donald Trump shortly after his election in November, leading to speculation that she could take a role in the new administration.