Mid-South lawmakers mostly support Trump in US strike on Syria

(WMC) - Much of the country is split on the decision by President Donald Trump to launch missiles against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in response to the country's recent chemical attack.

Some lawmakers have applauded the decision by Trump to take action against Syria, while others argue that Trump should have consulted with Congress before making the decision.

In the Mid-South, many lawmakers are in agreement that the launch was needed.

A trio of Tennessee lawmakers called the action appropriate.

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (TN-08), of Memphis, called the strike necessary:

"For far too long, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has seen no consequences for deliberate, horrendous crimes against his own people. Tonight, President Trump took bold and necessary action to counter Assad's brutality, sending a clear message that the United States will no longer allow these atrocities. This is a sign of strength from the Trump Administration and a reminder that America will not stand by while innocent lives are taken."

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is in agreement:

The U.S. and world community stood by as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad brutally tortured and murdered more than 500,000 of his own people, and I applaud President Trump for taking decisive action following the latest chemical weapons attack. 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.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, issued this statement:

The limited missile strike launched Thursday night against the air base in Syria was an appropriate immediate response to President Assad's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, including Syrian children.  Under our Constitution, the president should seek authorization from Congress for any further military action in Syria so that we can evaluate the long-term consequences of his plans and determine whether additional engagement would be in the vital national security interest of the United States.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis has yet to release a formal statement.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-MS, discussed his approval of the attack, but fellow Mississippi Republican Senator Thad Cochran has not issued a formal statement. Wicker said the following:

"I do support the President's action. I think it was called for, and the fact that he notified a number of our strongest allies [and] was advised by a very professional national security team we have in place gives me a great deal of confidence."

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) applauded the decision, but would like Congress's approval moving forward.

"In carrying out another chemical attack on innocent civilians, Bashar al-Assad has clearly violated international law. Limited, swift and decisive action was required to deter further brutality and show that these types of inhumane attacks will not be tolerated. Moving forward, the administration must engage with Congress to seek approval for further action. As I have said since 2013, we need a strategic plan that details U.S. military and diplomatic involvement, and outlines, most importantly, the end goal for the region and our allies"

Fellow Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) backed the president:

"I commend President Trump for taking swift, decisive action against Bashar al-Assad's outlaw regime. Any country that violates arms-control agreements with the U.S., develops illicit chemical- or nuclear-weapons programs, or supports those countries that do ought to take note."

Senator Wicker spoke on CNN regarding what went into Trump's decision to launch the missiles.

"I think it was called for and the fact that he notified a number of our strongest allies and was advised by a very professional National Security Team that we have in place," Wicker said on CNN. "This all gives me a great deal of confidence."

Senator Lee Harris (D-Memphis) said the United States should reconsider its position on refugees in light of Trump's missile attacks.

"Our state has become an outlier in the nation for its extreme opposition to refugee resettlement," Sen. Harris said. "Now that the president is escalating the conflict in Syria, it's time for us to reconsider. Any time our men and women in uniform engage in conflict abroad, we have a duty to do everything we can to ensure their safety. Providing a safe haven for the people who are fleeing for their lives - and who would join us in opposition to the regime - would strengthen our country's position in this conflict.

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