Trump to Congress on Syria strike: US to take additional action to further its national interests
In a letter to the US Congress on Saturday, President Donald Trump explained his decision to launch an attack on the Shayrat Airbase in Syria, claiming he was acting to avert a “humanitarian catastrophe.”
“United States intelligence indicates that Syrian military forces operating from this airfield were responsible for the chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians in southern Idlib Province, Syria, that occurred on April 4,” Trump wrote in the letter.
"I directed this action in order to degrade the Syrian military's ability to conduct further chemical weapons attacks and to dissuade the Syrian regime from using or proliferating chemical weapons, thereby promoting the stability of the region and averting a worsening of the region's current humanitarian catastrophe."
The letter, in which Trump claims to have acted “in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States,” repeats the same justification the president gave earlier this week, when speaking from his Mar-a-Lago resort.
The US strike came before the UN or the OPCW, the chemical weapons watchdog, could investigate the incident. Washington hurried to accuse the Syrian government for the suspected chemical attack.
Our Constitution is written so that the American people have the right to weigh in prior to acts of war. Congress must vote.— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 7, 2017
Two days earlier, Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against the airbase from US Navy ships based in the Eastern Mediterranean. The American attack on Shayrat Airbase in Syria killed 14 people including nine innocent civilians, the governor of Homs told RT.
Airstrikes are an act of war. Atrocities in Syria cannot justify departure from Constitution, which vests in Congress power to commence war.— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 7, 2017