Connecticut officials react to the U.S. airstrike on Syria - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Connecticut officials react to the U.S. airstrike on Syria

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Members of Connecticut's congressional delegation agreed that something needed to be done after a deadly chemical attack in Syria.

However, many of them lashed out at President Donald Trump's decision to launch airstrikes on Syria.

Sen. Chris Murphy called it an ill-thought out military action with absolutely no overall strategy.

"Yes, Bashar al-Assad should pay a price for the slaughter of civilians in Syria," Murphy said in a statement. "But the decision over the nature of that consequence is not for President Trump to make alone. 

Murphy cited the Constitution in that only Congress can authorize military activity.

"Having failed to [seek congressional approval], [Trump] now must come to Congress and explain his policy in Syria and seek authorization for any continued military action," he said.

Rep. Joe Courtney said at first, the attacks may seem like a proportionate response to the sarin gas attack.

"However, further engagement in this conflict risks escalation that has the potential to carry serious consequences for the United States, including direct confrontation with Syrian’s backers in Russia, which is why we need a comprehensive diplomatic approach to addressing the crisis in Syria," Courtney said. "And, it is more important than ever the President consult Congress on further military action – and that Congress take up its constitutional responsibility to engage in authorizing any further use of military force in this complex situation. This is no time for Congress so be on the side lines, and Speaker Ryan should call the House back in session immediately.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal posted a Tweet following the Syrian chemical attack earlier this week.

"The world must come together to end the horrific evil in Syria," Blumenthal said. "[It was] an atrocious crime taking the world back to [the] blackest chapter in history."

He also released a statement on Friday following the airstrikes.

“The missile strike sent a message to the murderous Assad regime and his enablers, Russia and Iran," Blumenthal said. "But it will have no real practical meaning or legal force without a strategy that is authorized by Congress, and engages regional allies and resources."

Blumenthal argued that a strategy must be formed to link military action to the country's national security interests.

"Striking a single air field cannot stop Assad from continuing atrocities against his own people," he said. "It risks further escalation of the war in Syria and may endanger our own forces operating against ISIL. Stronger steps involving Russia and Iran – aiders and abettors -- ‎are necessary, including increased sanctions. Assad must be prosecuted for war crimes."

Rep. Rosa DeLauro said the chemical attack demands the world's attention.

Though she called the U.S. airstrikes measured and proportional response.

"The Assad regime has created a humanitarian crisis in Syria, killing scores of its own people using conventional weapons, and committing war crimes in violation of international law using chemical weapons," DeLauro said. "More than 450,000 Syrians have been killed in the nation’s civil war and millions more have been displaced as a result of Assad’s atrocities."

DeLauro said Trump must now work with Congress and that Congress should immediately return to session.

"With millions of lives on the line, the U.S. must work with our international partners and allies to bring Assad to justice," she said. "President Trump should also rescind his ban on refugees fleeing the Assad regime. When a humanitarian crisis sends millions of people fleeing their homes, we must step up and respond with the American values that have guided our nation for generations.”

For the latest on the attacks, read the story here.

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