The U.S. military struck an airfield in central Syria on Thursday night in what the Trump administration described as a retaliatory strike for the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons earlier this week.
In Washington, congressional reaction was mixed, with some lauding Trump’s swift action, and others questioning the legal and constitutional basis for the strikes. Florida Senator Marco Rubio praised the strike as a “tactical action that furthers an objective.”
“I think this is an important, decisive step that was taken,” he told CNN. “It is a degrading of the capability of the Syrian regime to carry out further chemical attacks against innocent civilians. This will degrade their capability to launch those attacks from the air, and I think it was an important step, and hopefully it's part of a comprehensive strategy.”
Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, two of the Senate’s more hawkish members, also commended Trump for using military force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces after the Obama administration’s previous refusals.
“Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action,” they said in a joint statement. “For that, he deserves the support of the American people. Building on tonight’s credible first step, we must learn the lessons of history and ensure that tactical success to strategic progress.”