OSWEGO COUNTY, NY – On Thursday (April 6) in the late evening hours, Americans learned that President of the United States Donald Trump had issued an attack on an airfield in Syria.
Congressman John Katko said the attack from the United States was a proportional response. Senator Charles Schumer expressed that the U.S. response was the right thing to do. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said a response was demanded from the United States and the world community following Syria’s recent use of chemical warfare.
The U.S. attack was in response to a chemical weapons attack initiated on innocent Syrian civilians on Tuesday (April 4) by the hands of Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, President Trump told the American people in a three minute press briefing last night (April 6.)
He continued to explain that by using a deadly nerve agent, “Assad choked out the lives” of innocent men, women and children of Syria in a “slow and brutal death.”
While the details of Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad’s involvement in the chemical attack remain unknown, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “We have a very high level of confidence that the attacks were carried out by aircraft under the direction of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”
“… I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council,” President Trump said in his statement.
President Trump cited years of prior attempts at changing Assad’s behavior as drastic failures, allowing the refugee crisis to deepen and the destabilizing of the region to continue, thus “threatening the United States and its allies.”
Secretary Tillerson noted a number of elements that called for this action which he deemed as appropriate including, Syria and Russia’s failure to maintain commitment to surrender and destroy all chemical weapons under the guidance of Russia, the attempt to normalize the use of chemical weapons by repeated offenses with no international response, and the ability of such weapons to fall into the hands of those seeking to bring harm to American citizens as a battle to defeat ISIS remains underway along with al Qaeda elements present in Syria.
“And in my view, the President made the exact, correct decision,” Tillerson said. “I think it does demonstrate that President Trump is willing to act when governments and actors cross the line, and cross the line on violating commitments they have made and cross the line in the most heinous of ways. I think it is clear that President Trump has made that statement to the world tonight.”
However, President Trump made the decision to act in Syria without first gaining the approval of Congress which drew mixed reviews among Congress representatives.
“The chemical attacks by the Assad regime in Syria are unconscionable atrocities and a direct violation of international law; these attacks demand a firm response from the U.S. and the world community. However, unilateral military action by the U.S. in a Middle East conflict causes grave concern, given the lack of any Authorization for Use of Military Force from Congress and the absence of any long-term plan or strategy to address any consequences from such unilateral action,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Furthermore, there is no ‘military only’ solution to the suffering in Syria. The American people need answers from the Administration about their plan here and how they will bring coalition partners to the table for a long-term diplomatic solution.”
Congressman Katko found the U.S. attack to be warranted but urged the administration to develop a strategy in moving forward.
“The horrific and barbaric chemical attacks by the Assad regime against innocent civilians, including children, warranted strong and measured action. Targeted U.S. strikes on the air base from which these chemical attacks emanated were a proportional response to this horrible atrocity. Given the complexity of the conflict in Syria, I urge the Administration to articulate its strategy moving forward. As always, our Armed Forces acted bravely, professionally, and successfully, and I remain committed to ensuring they have the resources to be safe and successful,” said Representative Katko.
Senator Charles Schumer expressed a similar outlook, however, he suggested involvement with Congress is necessary before implementing any strategies.
“Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do. It is incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it. I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today,” Senator Schumer said.
President Trump called on all civilized countries to aid the United States in the attempt to end the bloodshed in Syria, and to bring an end to terrorism of all kinds.
“We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will, in the end, prevail,” he finished.
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