A bipartisan group of lawmakers cautiously applauded President Donald Trump after he ordered missile strikes against Syrian government targets in response to a chemical weapons attack in that country earlier this week.
The US Navy launched more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat airfield and nearby military infrastructure controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad early Friday morning local time.
“Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
But he warned that the Trump administration needs to “come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, a Republican, said: “Assad was warned, repeatedly, by the U.S. and the U.N. that the intentional targeting of innocent men, women and children is intolerable. Now Assad has been caught red-handed carrying out another abhorrent chemical attack.”
Royce continued: “Moving ahead, the administration must work with Congress and lay out clear policy goals for Syria and the region.”
Other lawmakers of both parties issued similar statements.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas:
“Any military action in Syria must be justified as protecting the vital national security interests of America — including decisive action to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the hands of radical Islamic terrorists — and I look forward to our Commander-in-Chief making the case to Congress and the American people how we should do so in the days ahead.”
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Senate Armed Services Committee:
“After Syrian mums and dads buried their children, American troops met injustice with strength. The use of chemical weapons cannot become normal – civilized people cannot grow indifferent to such suffering. After sending a clear message tonight, the President should propose to Congress a comprehensive strategy to protect American interests from a humanitarian crisis that threatens to destabilize our regional allies and create vacuums for jihadi sanctuaries.”
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin:
“My preliminary briefing by the White House indicated that this was a measured response to the Syrian nerve gas atrocity. Any further action will require close scrutiny by Congress, and any escalation beyond airstrikes or missile strikes will require engaging the American people in that decision.”