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US military strike on Syria draws mixed reactions from Trump administration

News Agencies | Updated on: 7 April 2017, 10:20 IST
US military strike on Syria draws mixed reactions from Donald Trump administration (ANI)

The U.S. military strike on the Syrian Government target in response to Tuesday's chemical weapon attack drew mixed reactions from the officials in Trump administration.

Some welcomed what they considered as a long overdue action against the human rights abuses of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime, while others were troubled by the lack of 'a congressional or an international authorisation.'

House Speaker Paul Ryan called the strike 'appropriate and just,' The Guardian reports.

'Earlier this week, the Assad regime murdered dozens of innocent men, women, and children in a barbaric chemical weapons attack. Tonight the United States responded. 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,' Ryan said.

'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,' he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Russia bore responsibility for its handling of the 2013 deal that was supposed to remove Assad's chemical weapons stockpile.

'They would act as the guarantor that these weapons would no longer be present in Syria. Clearly, Russia has failed in its responsibility to deliver on that commitment from 2013. Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent in its ability to deliver on its end of that agreement,' he said.

In a joint statement, senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham welcomed Trump's actions as sending 'an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin's Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs.'

In contrast, Senator Rand Paul, who has long been skeptical of military intervention, expressed his skepticism and demanded a congressional vote.

'While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the US was not attacked. The President needs congressional authorization for military action and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate on our role. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer and Syria will be no different,' he said.

Democrats struck a more unified tone and emphasized the need for congressional approval.

Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, said in a statement,'Any longer-term or larger military operation in Syria by the Trump administration will need to be done in consultation with the Congress. It is the president's responsibility to inform the legislative branch and the American people about his larger policy in Syria, as well as the legal basis for this action and any additional military activities in that country.'

Echoing similar statement, Ted Lieu, a Democratic congressman from California, proclaimed the move 'illegal'.

First published: 7 April 2017, 10:20 IST