Washington, DC (WLTX) - Following U.S. missile strikes in Syria, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement Thursday evening.
The statement read, in part, “We salute the skill and professionalism of the U.S. Armed Forces who carried out tonight’s strikes in Syria. Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs.
The statement goes on to say, "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."
Graham and McCain go on to encourage bolstering support for the vetted Syrian opposition and establishing safe zones "to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis." Additionally they say, "we can and must continue the campaign to achieve ISIS’s lasting defeat.”
President Trump ordered a cruise missile strike against Syria early Friday (Syria time) in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack that killed 86 people on Tuesday, according to the Pentagon.
The attack, the first conventional assault on another country ordered by Trump, comes a day after he declared that the chemical weapons assault had “crossed many, many lines,” including the deaths of 27 children.