HI Legislators Comment on U.S. Airstrikes in SyriaApril 7, 2017, 8:30 AM HST (Updated April 7, 2017, 8:35 AM)
Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard released statements regarding yesterday’s U.S. airstrikes in Syria.
“The repeated use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against his own people is an atrocity and breach of international law, and the international community must hold him accountable,” said Sen. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Civil War in Syria adds layers of complexity in a country and region where there are no easy answers and opportunities for missteps are great. In light of this, President Trump must present a coherent strategy for addressing the ongoing situation in Syria, including our own responsibility in confronting the humanitarian catastrophe and refugee crisis.”
“The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, but a military response is not the answer,” said Sen. Schatz. ” The president has failed to articulate a strategy to end the Syrian civil war. A one-off strike may satisfy our desire to hold Assad accountable, but it risks deeper escalation without any sense of direction or objective. And unless this conflict ends, we will never defeat ISIL and prevent its return. Regardless, Congress must debate and authorize any escalation of U.S. military involvement against the Syria regime, as it is well beyond the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. The United States must focus on leading a diplomatic effort among our partners and allies in the region to achieve a political solution that results in a post-Assad Syrian government that brings stability to the region.”
“It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government,” said Rep. Gabbard. “This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.
“This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning. If President Assad is indeed guilty of this horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians, I will be the first to call for his prosecution and execution by the International Criminal Court. However, because of our attack on Syria, this investigation may now not even be possible. And without such evidence, a successful prosecution will be much harder.”