By Paul Edward Parker
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island’s U.S. representatives and senators have weighed in on President Donald Trump’s decision to launch a missile strike on a Syrian air base Thursday in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack the administration was carried out by the Syrian government, cautioning the president to work with Congress in dealing with Syria.
In separate statements issued Friday, Rep. Jim Langevin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse explicitly supported the decision, while Rep. David N. Cicilline and Sen. Jack Reed were more circumspect. They are all Democrats; Trump is a Republican.
“I believe the response taken tonight by the United States in launching an air strike in Syria following the morally reprehensible war crimes committed by Bashar al-Assad when he deployed chemical weapons, killing innocent children and civilians, is justifiable, and I support this decision,” Langevin said in his statement.
“Moving forward, the President must consult with Congress to determine how the United States will deal with Assad’s regime and determine what our strategic objectives will be,” Langevin said. “No nation has the right to use chemical weapons against innocent civilians and the world must speak with one voice condemning the actions of President Assad.”
Whitehouse said: “We have witnessed yet another atrocious act by the Assad regime against its own people, and we are called to conscience. Last night’s military action in Syria met my standards for responding to atrocity: a limited action; with a clear objective; that is not the beginning of American ‘boots on the ground’ military operations.”