President Donald Trump announced on Friday he ordered strikes on the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities in coordination with France and the United Kingdom in response to a chemical weapons attack last weekend.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said the US specifically targeted the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.
“We also selected targets that would minimize the risks to innocent civilians,” Mattis said.
“Right now this is a one-time shot and I believe that it sent a very strong message to dissuade (Assad), to deter him from doing this again,” he added.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley issued a response on Friday night, saying the president needs to seek congressional authorization for any act of war.
Full Statement from Senator Jeff Merkley on Air Strikes Against Syria:
“Bashar al-Assad has carried out a brutal campaign of attacks on his own people. The use of chemical weapons is unconscionable and he must be held accountable.
“But military action is not the only tool we have. And if President Trump is going to use military force he must seek congressional authorization. The power to make war rests with Congress in Article I of the Constitution.
“We have learned in Afghanistan and Iraq the dangers of launching military actions without clearly articulated objectives and exit strategies. If the President wants to wage war, the American people and Congress need to be part of that decision.”