Sen. Doug Jones released a statement Saturday supportive of President Donald Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria.
Jones released the comments after news that the United States, France, and the United Kingdom undertook targeted airstrikes to weaken Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities.
“Bashar al-Assad’s repeated use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians – so many of them children – was an atrocity and must be stopped,” Jones said. “I fully support the President’s actions last night to strategically target Assad’s capacity to use chemical weapons, and to do so with the assistance of our allies. It is my hope, as General Mattis stated last night, that Assad gets the message this time and that further action, which should be done with Congressional approval, will not be necessary.”
“Finally, I am grateful for the capable service of the Alabama airmen who supported this mission in Syria last night,” Jones added. “To them and their families, I share my continued appreciation for their sacrifices on behalf of all of us.”
Jones’s support for the attack mirrors that of many in Congress, including Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, who also released a statement supporting the president.
“I applaud the President for taking military action against the Assad regime for its latest use of chemical weapons, and for signaling his resolve to do so again if these heinous attacks continue,” McCain wrote. “I am grateful to our British and French allies for joining us in this action.”
“I hope these strikes impose meaningful costs on Assad,” McCain added. “ The message to Assad must be that the cost of using chemical weapons is worse than any perceived benefit, that the United States and our allies have the will and capability to continue imposing those costs, and that Iran and Russia will ultimately be unsuccessful in protecting Assad from our punitive response. To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region. The President needs to lay out our goals, not just with regard to ISIS, but also the ongoing conflict in Syria and malign Russian and Iranian influence in the region. Airstrikes disconnected from a broader strategy may be necessary, but they alone will not achieve U.S. objectives in the Middle East.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday called for air strikes on Syrian airfields.
“I really believe we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them,” Clinton said.
Clinton said that she had supported a no-fly zone in Syria, but President Barack Obama had opposed that.
The Syrian strikes came just days after a sarin gas attack on a Damascus suburb that killed an estimated 72 people. The attack has been attributed to Bashar Al-Assad’s Syrian government forces.
Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at three military targets in Syria. The 59 missiles were fired from both U.S. Navy ships and from U.S. Air Force B1 bombers flying out of Qatar.