Both of Ohio’s United States senators, along with the congressman from Ohio’s 2nd congressional district, expressed support Friday for President Trump’s missile strikes Thursday night against Syria in the wake of a chemical weapons attack apparently carried out by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against his own people.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, issued a statement saying, “Our men and women in uniform carried out this military strike with precision and skill, and I applaud their courage and bravery. It was appropriate to hold Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad accountable for his cruel and illegal use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians, including women and children. The Assad regime clearly violated the 2013 Russian-led agreement at the United Nations requiring Syria to turn over all its chemical weapons.”
Portman added, “We now need a comprehensive strategy with clearly-defined purpose and objectives for how we achieve our national security goals in Syria and the region. As I have said before, only a coordinated and comprehensive effort by the United States and our allies will help bring an end to the refugee crisis, as well as the violence and devastation that has plagued Syria and the Middle East. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I intend to continue to engage with the Trump administration and my colleagues in the senate to help flesh out the appropriate American strategy.”
Portman’s Democratic counterpart in the senate, Sherrod Brown, said, “Last night’s missile strike appears to be a proportional response for Assad’s brutal killing of innocent civilians, but there are still unanswered questions, including how the strike will impact American forces on the ground fighting ISIS and what this means for long-term military engagement in Syria. President Trump needs to come up with a strategy to resolve the Syrian conflict, share his plans with the American people and win their support before taking further action.”
Brown took a swipe at Trump in regard to allegations that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections, adding, “Secretary Tillerson is scheduled to travel to Moscow next week, and he and president Trump need to use this administration’s close ties with Russia to pressure president Putin to step up and curtail further indiscriminate killing of Syrian civilians.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a Republican whose 2nd District includes Highland County, said, “The Assad regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. The targeted strikes ordered by the president, in consultation with congressional leaders, was an appropriate and just response to the most recent atrocities. While congressional engagement over long-term strategic objectives in the region must continue, I support the president’s decisive actions to tangibly weaken the Assad regime’s ability to murder innocent people with chemical weapons.”