Ohio’s congressional delegation expressed support for Thursday night’s cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield, but one day later, many had questions on what happens next as the U.S. increases its intervention into Syria’s six-year civil war.
While Sen. Rob Portman called President Donald Trump decision to drop more than 50 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base “appropriate,” the Ohio Republican also called for a “comprehensive strategy on confronting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.”
He said there should be consequences for Syria’s chemical attacks, including one earlier this week that brought images to the world of children dying horrible deaths.
And Portman said there should be consequences for Syria's chemical attacks, including one earlier this week that brought images to the world of children dying horrible deaths.
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"The Assad regime clearly violated the 2013 Russian-led agreement at the United Nations requiring Syria to turn over all its chemical weapons," he said. "We now need a comprehensive strategy with clearly-defined purpose and objectives for how we achieve our national security goals in Syria and the region."
Portman said "only a coordinated and comprehensive effort by the United States and our allies will help bring an end to the refugee crisis, as well as the violence and devastation that has plagued Syria and the Middle East."
The two senators attended a 1 p.m. closed-door briefing on the air strikes, but were unable to talk about the meeting because the information shared was classified.
Rep. Mike Turner also is on board with the Trump-ordered attack.
“The horrific attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad required consequences and was essential to deterring future atrocities,” the Dayton Republican said. “It is clear the Obama administration’s attempt to partner with Russia to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons cache failed.”
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati called Assad’s attack on innocent civilians “barbaric.”
“The President’s response makes clear that Mr. Assad’s repeated violations of international norms will no longer be tolerated,” he said, adding, “I want to urge the President to consult with Congress before committing significant numbers of troops on the ground.”
Alexei Woltornist, a spokesman for Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, said Davidson looks forward to reviewing the intelligence that led to the air strikes.
“He believes that military action without clear goals and objectives have been the status quo, and the US needs a clear national security strategy,” he said.
And Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, expressed support.
“The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on innocent Syrians was appalling, and I support the administration’s use of targeted air strikes to show the world and Assad that the United States will not tolerate this sort of barbarism,” he said. “Going forward, I hope to work with President Trump and Congress on a plan to address the Syrian crisis.”
Among Ohio lawmakers, veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur expressed the most concern.
“Neither Congress nor the American people know the full extent of how this Trump administration action was planned and executed,” the Toledo Democrat said.
“We do know the Assad regime in Syria consistently commits horrendous atrocities against its own people, but the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase unilaterally, undertaken outside a global coalition to remove the Assad regime, is a high-risk action that could cause terrorist retaliation against U.S. targets anywhere in the world.”
Kaptur said while “the U.S. must fight tyranny and oppression … Congress needs to have a say. We shouldn’t rush headstrong into conflict, and as a nation, we must always weigh the consequences of such action. I urge President Trump to consult with Congress to seek authorization and consult with the American people before any further action in Syria.”
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