Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard used footage of Syria’s Assad regime dropping barrel bombs on a Syrian city in a campaign ad blasting "regime change wars." The ad features Gabbard telling viewers that "The cost of regime change wars have been carried out under the guise of humanitarian cause in countries like Syria" amid barrel bombs falling on the city of Daraya in February 2016. Human-rights groups have criticized the use of barrel bombs for their indiscriminate effect on civilians and Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad has denied using them. Gabbard has garnered criticism from Democrats for her friendly approach to the Assad regime. She expressed skepticism that the Syrian military used chemical weapons to kill civilians in 2017, as the UN subsequently confirmed and met with Assad during a delegation to the country in 2017.