WASHINGTON – Members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation are backing President Donald Trump’s decision to launch military strikes against Syria.
“The U.S. and world community stood by as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad brutally tortured and murdered more than 500,000 of his own people, and I applaud President Trump for taking decisive action following the latest chemical weapons attack,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Chattanooga and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“It is critical that Assad knows he will no longer enjoy impunity for his horrific crimes against his own citizens, and this proportional step was appropriate," Corker said. "As we move forward, it will be important for the administration to engage with Congress and clearly communicate its full strategy to the American people."
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Maryville, said Trump made the right call.
“The limited missile strike launched Thursday night against the air base in Syria was an appropriate immediate response to President Assad's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, including Syrian children,” he said.
“Under our Constitution, the president should seek authorization from Congress for any further military action in Syria so that we can evaluate the long-term consequences of his plans and determine whether additional engagement would be in the vital national security interest of the United States," Alexander warned.
Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville, who voted against going to war in Iraq in 2002 and has been critical of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, said Trump was right to order the strikes in Syria.
“While I do not think we should become entangled in another ground war in the Middle East, this measured response was appropriate to send the message that the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons to murder innocent civilians, especially children," Duncan said. "I do not think the president had much of a choice after we saw photos of children brutally killed by chemical weapons. I am confident that President Trump will not allow us to become bogged down in a multi-year, trillion-dollar war in the Middle East."
Freshman Rep. David Kustoff, R-Germantown, also praised Trump for taking action.
"For far too long, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has seen no consequences for deliberate, horrendous crimes against his own people,” Kustoff said. “President Trump took bold and necessary action to counter Assad's brutality, sending a clear message that the United States will no longer allow these atrocities. This is a sign of strength from the Trump administration and a reminder that America will not stand by while innocent lives are taken."
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Ooltewah, said he has been concerned for some time "about the horrific crimes Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has committed against his own people."
"I completely support President Trump’s crucial and necessary action to strike the Syrian airbase," he said. "The limited missile strike showed America will not tolerate such inhumane actions."