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Republican challenger to Carlos Curbelo: Syrian chemical attacks were staged

Souraya Faas, the sole Republican set to challenge Rep. Carlos Curbelo for the GOP nomination in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, believes the reported chemical attacks by Syrian President Bashar Assad were all staged. That’s according to an interview published by the Miami Herald.

“All those attacks are staged by the White Helmets,” Faas was quoted as saying. The White Helmets are a volunteer rescue force that served during the Syrian Civil War.

Faas says recent chemical attacks carried out by Assad’s government in 2017 and 2018 never happened, according to the Herald. Those attacks prompted responses from the U.S. and its allies as President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes shortly after the attacks.

Though Faas filed as a Republican, she was sharply critical of that decision by Trump, saying he was duped by false reporting blaming Assad’s regime for the attacks. “Trump was spot on with fake news until he started believing the fake news himself.” Faas even called on Trump to resign following the U.S. strikes.

She also bashed Trump’s appointment of Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Haley had harsh words for both Syria and Russia regarding their actions in the region.

Faas is no fan of Haley’s critical comments: “Nikki Haley is the worst thing that has happened to the United States, the worst thing that Trump did was appoint her.”

Faas, who is of Syrian descent, also called Putin and Assad “heroes” for purportedly fighting against terrorism during the Syrian conflict.

The remarks are sure to draw attention to Faas’ fledgling campaign, though she doesn’t appear to pose any serious threat to Curbelo’s nomination. Neither she nor her campaign committee has filed any fundraising information with the Federal Election Commission.

This isn’t Faas’ first time running for federal office. She launched a failed write-in bid in the 2016 presidential election as an independent.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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