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US politicians have responded to the US missile strike on Syria, the first military action of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan tweeted that the missile attack was “appropriate and just”, adding a fuller statement:

Earlier this week the Assad regime murdered dozens of innocent men, women, and children in a barbaric chemical weapons attack. Tonight the United States responded. This action was appropriate and just. These tactical strikes made clear that the Assad regime can no longer count on American inaction as it carries out atrocities against the Syrian people.

Senator John McCain made a joint statement of support with senator Lindsey Graham:

Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action. For that, he deserves the support of the American people. Building on tonight’s credible first step, we must finally learn the lessons of history and ensure that tactical success leads to strategic progress. That means following through with a new, comprehensive strategy in coordination with our allies and partners to end the conflict in Syria. The first measure in such a strategy must be to take Assad’s air force—which is responsible not just for the latest chemical weapons attack, but countless atrocities against the Syrian people—completely out of the fight.

Bob Corker, senator for Tennessee and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee applauded President Trump for taking “decisive action”:

It is critical that Assad knows he will no longer enjoy impunity for his horrific crimes against his own citizens and this proportional step was appropriate. As we move forward, it will be important for the administration to engage with Congress and clearly communicate its full strategy to the American people.

Rand Paul, senator for Kentucky, restated his view that Congressional approval was needed before launching attacks on Syria. In three tweets he said:

While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked. The President needs Congresional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer and Syria will be no different.

California Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee said:

This strike will not hasten an end to the Assad regime, but it may deter further use of chemical weapons. Nevertheless, this missile strike and the military action of our forces already in Syria, have yet to be authorized by Congress. I will be re-introducing an authorization for use of military force against ISIS and al Qaeda when Congress returns to session.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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