Republicans including John McCain and Ted Cruz have praised Donald Trump for ordering airstrikes on Syria as Democrats stress that any further military action needs to consult Congress.
Senators McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) applauded Trump on Thursday night saying he deserves the support of the American people because he took action against Syria, unlike former President Barack Obama.
Trump ordered the attack on a Syrian air base with roughly 60 cruise missiles in response to a chemical weapons attack it blames on President Bashar Assad.
While Democrats said the airstrikes sent a message, Senator Ben Cardin argued that any longer-term or larger military operation in Syria needed to consult Congress.
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC):
‘We salute the skill and professionalism of the U.S. Armed Forces who carried out tonight’s strikes in Syria. Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent 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.
‘Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action. For that, he deserves the support of the American people.
‘Building on tonight’s credible first step, we must finally learn the lessons of history and ensure that tactical success leads to strategic progress. That means following through with a new, comprehensive strategy in coordination with our allies and partners to end the conflict in Syria.
The first measure in such a strategy must be to take Assad’s air force – which is responsible not just for the latest chemical weapons attack, but countless atrocities against the Syrian people – completely out of the fight. We must also bolster support for the vetted Syrian opposition and establish safe zones to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis. As we do, we can and must continue the campaign to achieve ISIS’s lasting defeat.’
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas): ‘Today, after eight years of Obama foreign policy failures, Syria is a humanitarian disaster. Bashar al-Assad is a monster, a puppet of Russia and Iran, and he has once again used chemical weapons against his own citizens, murdering innocent men, women, and children.
‘Our prayers are with Assad’s victims, and with the victims of the ISIS and al Qaeda terrorists ripping Syria apart. And, as always, our support and prayers are with the brave Americans in uniform who carried out the military strike tonight.
‘Any military action in Syria must be justified as protecting the vital national security interests of America – including decisive action to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the hands of radical Islamic terrorists – and I look forward to our Commander-in-Chief making the case to Congress and the American people how we should do so in the days ahead.’