Rep Cuellar Statement on Airstrikes in Syria
Following the U.S. airstrikes in Syria in response to Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on his own people, Defense Appropriations member Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) wrote:
“Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians is an absolute atrocity. Like all Americans, I was horrified by the images of innocent children among the victims. The United States has a responsibility to condemn these actions in the strongest terms, and to hold the perpetrators responsible within the scope of international law.
President Trump's decision to attack an airfield held by Assad's forces, in a major reversal from his previous positions, appears to be a proportional response within that framework. If he plans to escalate our military involvement, however, he must come to Congress for a specific Authorization for Use of Military Force. Our troops and their families deserve an open debate and clear objectives before we put them in harm's way.
Unfortunately, this chemical attack is just an escalation of years of horrific violence, endured by the Syrian people at Assad's hands with Russia's complicity. President Trump says he was moved to order airstrikes by compassion for civilian victims. I hope this compassion also inspires him to reconsider his administration's troubling relationship to the Russian government. America has an opportunity to ease human suffering and stand up for what is right; President Trump has an opportunity to lead that effort, if he is willing to take it.”