Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic representative from Hawaii, cast doubt on who should be held responsible for a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 civilians in Syria this week.
“Yes, I’m sceptical,” Gabbard told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday when asked whether she believed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad authorised the use of chemical weapons.
“Standing around and pointing fingers does not accomplish peace for the Syrian people,” Gabbard said, asserting the need for concrete evidence before assigning blame.
Both Syrian and Russian forces have denied responsibility, with Russian forces claiming a conventional airstrike hit a cache of chemical weapons owned by rebels in Syria. International experts have dismissed this as an “infantile argument.”
Gabbard said in a statement Thursday night Trump “acted recklessly” in authorizing the missile strike. “It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government.”
The congresswoman made similar remarks after returning from a “fact-finding trip” to Syria and Lebanon days after Trump’s inauguration.
During her January trip to Syria, Gabbard met with Assad. Following Monday’s chemical weapons attack in Syria, Gabbard tweeted, then deleted a statement saying that ISIS or al-Qaeda could have committed the strike.
Gabbard on Thursday night called the strike “short-sighted,” and said it would lead to “more dead civilians, more refugees … and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.”