Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Syria strikes: Democrats demand congressional approval for further military action

Syria strikes: Democrats demand congressional approval for further military action

U.S. President Donald Trump will not find things easy for now as Congressional Democrats have attacked him for not seeking Congress authorisation before striking Syria on Friday. The Kremlin needs to "live up to the commitments they made", he said of Russia's vow to remove Assad's chemical arsenal.

President Trump praised the military after launching missiles on targets associated with the Syrian chemical weapons program. "They're still using chemical weapons".

He also had this message for Russian Federation, one of Assad's key backers: "You're on the wrong side of history".

"To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region". However, the 2008 Republican nominee did sound one warning, saying "Airstrikes disconnected from a broader strategy may be necessary, but they alone will not achieve USA objectives in the Middle East".

Democrats have criticised President Trump for launching airstrikes on Syria without the approval of Congress, with some branding the move "illegal".

"The President must come to Congress and secure an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) by proposing a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives that keep our military safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians", Pelosi added. "The world must hold Assad accountable for his violence against the Syrian people - and the USA should be part of a planned, coordinated multilateral effort".

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What's more, the United States and its allies have "evidence" that Assad's forces used both chlorine and sarin gas in last weekend's chemical attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb, the senior administration official said.

Vice President Mike Pence said the operation "degraded and crippled" and "significantly eroded" the Assad government's ability to use chemical weapons. "His regimes unconscionable brutality against innocent civilians can not be tolerated", he said. But he backed away at the last minute when the Assad regime declared that it would give up its chemical weapons and allow worldwide inspectors to search its munitions sites for banned chemical agents. "However, air strikes alone will not achieve that goal", said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is now on an official trip to Peru, reportedly called congressional leaders to notify them military action was going to be taken on Friday night.

He added that the Congress must have a full role in reviewing and approving the strategy.

In his first reaction after military of the three countries carried out strikes against the chemical weapons infrastructure of Syria, Trump declared "Mission Accomplished".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, from NY, said "A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria". House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led calls for Trump to map out a detailed plan and present it to Congress if he wants to expand military action. However, in a sign of cynical disdain, a group of Western countries chose to take military action without waiting for the results of the investigation.

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