Multiple Massachusetts legislators have spoken out against the airstrikes on Syria after the Trump administration fired missiles Thursday night at an airbase. Syria's recent chemical weapons attack was said to have been launched from that location.
Lawmakers reacted to the move by reiterating that the president needs congressional approval for any further intervention. Many also said the U.S. shouldn’t intervene without also accepting the refugees affected by the conflict.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, acknowledged that the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against “innocent men, women and children” clearly violated international law. But she said the president should not use force without the consent of Congress.
“The Syrian regime must be held accountable for this horrific act, and its actions underscore why the United States should embrace innocent people who are fleeing in terror,” she said in a statement. “But the Constitution gives the power to authorize the use of military force to the legislative branch. Expanded military intervention in Syria requires action by Congress.’
Warren continued that, “If President Trump expects such an authorization, he owes the American people an explanation of his strategy to bring an end to the violence in Syria. We should not escalate this conflict without clear goals and a plan to achieve them."
Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy III sounded the same note, saying the actions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government “deserve a response,” but the Trump administration should not have done so without approval.
“Any plans for military engagement in Syria must come before their elected representatives in Congress or a debate and a vote,” he said in a statement. “And any strategy that ignores the refugees fleeing this unimaginable terror is a half-step at best.”
Assad's vicious brutality demands a response. But this country doesn't fight wars without giving the American people a say. More here: pic.twitter.com/ND1XB2lVDA— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) April 7, 2017
Democratic Sen. Ed Markey also said that in order to help end the suffering of Syrians, we need a “concrete plan.” Markey also brought up Russia’s involvement.
“This military escalation would not have been necessary if Russia had kept its commitment to take these weapons out of the hands of the regime,” he said in a statement. “It is imperative that President Trump lays out his next steps to ensure the consequences of this military action do not lead us down a slippery slope ending in greater risk for our men and women.”
Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton — a military veteran who served in Iraq — reacted to the news on Twitter.
“So @POTUS cares enough about the Syrian people to launch 50 Tomahawks but not enough to let the victims of Assad find refuge & freedom here,” he tweeted around 9:30 p.m.
Later, he and Rep. Steve Russell, a Republican from Oklahoma who also served in Iraq, released a joint bipartisan statement calling for Trump to present a plan to the public and to Congress.