Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard just took a secret trip to Syria

Democratic congresswoman and Iraq war veteran Tulsi Gabbard recently travelled to Syria’s capital, Foreign Policy reported on Wednesday.

Gabbard’s spokeswoman described her trip as a “fact-finding” mission, telling Foreign Policy that Gabbard “felt it was important to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders.”

It is unclear if she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while she was there.

On December 8, Gabbard — a vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s calls for Assad to relinquish power — introduced to Congress the

Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which would prohibit the US government from funding or arming extremist groups like Jabbhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The bill would also halt support to members of the Islamist rebel coalition Levant Front, or Jabhat al-Shamiyah, which includes factions linked to the US-backed Free Syrian Army.

Gabbard met with President-elect Donald Trump in late November to discuss how to avoid “the drumbeats of war” that may lead to US intervention in Syria, among other national security concerns.

“Where I disagree with President-elect Trump on issues, I will not hesitate to express that disagreement,” Gabbard said in a statement about the meeting. “However, I believe we can disagree, even strongly, but still come together on issues that matter to the American people and affect their daily lives.”

Assad and his allies, Russia and Iran, recently recaptured Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, from rebel groups who had held on to it for nearly four years. The regime has now refocused much of its efforts on recapturing the suburbs outside of Syria’s capital, Damascus, in the country’s southwest.

Gabbard’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.