WASHINGTON, APR 14 (DNA) – Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle reacted Friday night after President Donald Trump announced that U.S. military strikes would be carried out in Syria against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The news came after a suspected chemical attack by pro-regime forces last weekend in the rebel-held town of Douma. At least 40 people died in the attack and more than 500 people, mostly women and children, were hospitalized.
On Friday, Trump said Assad’s actions were not those “of a man” but rather “the crimes of a monster instead.”
Immediately following Trump’s address to the nation, loud explosions and thick smoke were reported in Damascus.
Here’s what members of Congress and other officials had to say about the announcement:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “Tonight, the administration notified me of the president’s decision to use military action to deter Bashar al-Assad and respond to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. I support both the action and objective.
“The planning for this robust operation by the United States and our allies was clearly well-considered,” McConnell continued. “It is evident that the President was provided with a number of options, and that our forces executed a challenging mission.”
“The planning for this robust operation by the United States and our allies was clearly well-considered. It is evident that the President was provided with a number of options, and that our forces executed a challenging mission.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., released a statement saying, “Tonight, the United States has taken decisive action in coordination with our allies.
We are united in our resolve that Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons cannot go unanswered. His regime’s unconscionable brutality against innocent civilians cannot be tolerated.”
“There should be no doubt that Russia and Iran have blood on their hands, and their partnership with Assad reveals the true nature of their regimes,” he continued.
“The United States and our allies must continue to seek ways to hold Assad’s enablers accountable. Let us all pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stated, “A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted a statement and added that the president “must come to Congress to obtain a new AUMF [Authorization for Use of Military Force], present a clear set of objectives, & ultimately hold Putin accountable for the bloodshed he has enabled.”
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, tweeted a statement saying, “The President’s decision to retaliate with air strikes as part of a broader military response reflect his seriousness in addressing the scale and depravity of Assad’s actions.”