Washington state Senators and Representatives reacted Friday to the United States launching an air strike on Syria Thursday, with responses falling largely along party lines.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane
"I support the President's responsible action last night. Families should be able to go about their daily lives without fear of terrorism. For the Syrian people living under Assad's reign of terror, fear is their daily reality. With the administration's tactical military action last night, we demonstrate that the free world stands against these bad actors. I look forward to hearing more details from the White House and their engagement with Congress on any further action."
Rep. Dave Reichert, R- Issaquah
“Syria’s use of chemical weapons was a horrendous attack on innocent men, women, and children that the United States cannot stand for. It is long past time we held the Assad regime accountable for crossing the red line established by President Obama. Assad and his allies need to know the U.S. will no longer stand idle while atrocities are carried out against innocent people."
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
“The atrocities committed by the Assad regime are truly despicable, and a strong response from the United States and the international community to protect civilians is absolutely warranted. This problem will not be solved with a one-time show of force, and President Trump must now articulate his strategy to Congress and the American people.”
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Renton
“These strikes were a proportional response to Bashar al-Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons against his own people. However, going forward, we need a clear understanding of what President Trump’s policy means. The use of chemical weapons is utterly abhorrent and banned by the international community, but the Syrian government’s other crimes against its own people are similarly unacceptable. One night of airstrikes will not change this fact, and President Trump should provide Congress and the American people with an explanation of his strategy, what happens next, and how he will deal with the repercussions of this situation.
“We must also confront Russian responsibility in this sequence of events, which only prolonged the conflict and helped to create this humanitarian crisis. The Russian government must be held accountable for the ways it has enabled these abuses.
“We must be absolutely clear on the fact that the Assad regime is illegitimate and stand solidly with the international community and the Syrian people on this point. That does not mean that the United States bears the responsibility for removing Assad through military action, but it does mean that we must work in concert with international partners toward an end-state where the Syrian government no longer takes these unacceptable actions against its people.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle
“The horrific sarin gas attacks by a dictator on his own people in Syria were designed to test the limits of the world community. The United States must help to lead a strategy forward, but a night of missile strikes is not a plan. It is an act of war, with very real potential for further escalation that would put more American troops in harm’s way and strike a match in an extremely volatile part of the world.
“Under the Constitution, only Congress has the power to authorize the use of military force. President Trump has not proposed to Congress a comprehensive strategy to end the violence in Syria and combat the Assad regime. The President owes the American people a plan that ensures we do not become entangled in another war. His unilateral action, without Congressional approval, is a disturbing precedent that we must not allow.
“A foreign policy of unilateral military action will not bring enduring peace. President Trump must demand Russia come to the table and support a UN investigation of the chemical attack. He must also engage the international community in a multilateral plan to end this humanitarian crisis in Syria and throughout the Middle East.
“In the meantime, the latest attacks in Syria have resulted in even more deaths and the displacement of thousands of innocent people. President Trump must lift his ban on refugees, and allow those who are fighting for their lives to seek refuge in our country."
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
“Last night’s targeted strike on assets to stop Assad’s chemical attack on innocent people, including children, was appropriate. The international community and U.N. should move more aggressively to counter Assad on his violation of Syria’s obligations to get rid of their chemical weapons.
“The President must lay out a comprehensive strategy for the conflict in Syria that includes clear goals, diplomatic objectives, partnership with the international community, and dealing with the refugee crisis.
“With more than five million refugees that have fled Syria, more needs to be done by the U.S. and international community to provide humanitarian support.”
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