WASHINGTON–Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Friday announced his support for the White House’s decision to launch a Naval strike against Syria Thursday night, rounding off congressional leader support for the military action.
“Last evening the administration notified me of the president’s decision to respond to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people through military action. This action was taken to deter the Assad regime from using chemical weapons again. I support both the action and objective. The planning for this operation was clearly well-considered,” McConnell stated on the floor of the Senate.
Over 50 tomahawks missiles were launched from two U.S. Navy carriers, hitting the Shayrat airfield from which the aircraft used in the chemical attack had been launched and where chemical weapons had been stored. Additionally, other aircrafts, hardened shelters, and air defense systems were eliminated by the U.S. strike.
McConnell went on to say, “In the days ahead, I am committed to working with the administration to continue developing a counter-ISIL strategy that hastens the defeat of ISIL and establishes objectives for dealing with the Assad regime in a manner that preserves the institutions of government in an effort to prevent a failed state.”
Other congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle supported the attack on the Assad regime as well. While Republicans appeared to assume that Trump will work with Congress on further military matters, Democrats demanded that Congress be consulted on military strategy before implementing it.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said in his statement on the matter, “This action was appropriate and just. These tactical strikes make clear that the Assad regime can no longer count on American inaction as it carries out atrocities against the Syrian people. Resolving the years-long crisis in Syria is a complex task, but Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable and his enablers must be persuaded to change course. I look forward to the administration further engaging Congress in this effort.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that, “making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do.”
Schumer added, “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.”
Similarly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Tonight’s strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons. If the President intends to escalate the U.S. military’s involvement in Syria, he must to come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force which is tailored to meet the threat and prevent another open-ended war in the Middle East.”