(WHDH) — Members of Congress who represent New England have issued statements in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to order targeted airstrikes on Syria:
Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.):
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.):
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.):
“Tonight’s U.S. military strikes on Syrian government targets are neither constitutional nor wise. Attacks such as this on another country without Congressional authorization are unconstitutional, and they push the United States closer to what could be an interminable, all-out conflict in Syria.
“Although Bashar al-Assad’s murder of innocent Syrian civilians by poison gas is barbaric, President Trump’s response – carried out this way – will do nothing to deter future chemical weapons use, nor help end the Syrian civil war.
“There is no Congressional authorization for the use of military force against Syrian government targets. And as we saw during President Trump’s cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase last year in retaliation for their earlier use of chemical weapons, the attack was neither operationally, nor strategically, successful. A year later, President Trump has yet to articulate a cogent strategy outlining U.S. interests and objectives in Syria, much less how to achieve them. Absent a robust diplomatic process, military strikes will not change Assad’s calculus regarding the use of chemical weapons against his own people.
“President Trump has failed to launch a multi-faceted diplomatic process in Syria and appears ready to repeat that failure again. Holding Russia, Iran, and Syria accountable for their support for the continuing civil war does not require military force. Instead of implementing mandatory sanctions overwhelmingly passed by Congress, the President let Russia escape culpability for its protection of the murderous regime in Damascus.
“Only diplomatic engagement, not military escalation, will end the Syrian civil war, which should be the ultimate goal in the region.”
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.):
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.):
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.):
“The Assad regime’s brutality cannot go unanswered,” said Shaheen. “With the assistance of Russia and Iran, Bashar al-Assad has committed mass murder against his own people. I support these air strikes, done in coordination with our allies, but remain adamant that the administration must develop a comprehensive strategy for ending the Syrian civil war. Tonight, I once again call on the White House to issue a clear policy on Syria and urge the Senate to pass legislation to this effect.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.):
“Chemical attacks in Syria are horrifying, and a clear violation of international law. The world must hold Assad accountable for his violence against the Syrian people – and the US should be part of a planned, coordinated multilateral effort. The Constitution gives Congress the power to authorize military action. If @realDonaldTrump wants to expand American military involvement in Syria’s civil war, he must seek approval from Congress – & provide a comprehensive strategy with clear goals & a plan to achieve them.”
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