How Massachusetts Is Responding to the Missile Strikes in Syria

Leaders called for input from Congress and criticized Trump's stance on refugees.

Photo via AP

Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton. Photo via AP

In the aftermath of the Trump administration’s missile strikes in Syria and amid concerns about a march to war, Massachusetts leaders called for more input from Congress and critiqued the president’s stance on refugees.

The U.S.-led assault on a Syrian air base came overnight, and President Trump said the barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles was a response to the use of toxic gas Tuesday in an air assault on the country’s Idlib province, which the U.S. believes was carried out by the Syrian government.

Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton sharply criticized Thursday night’s U.S.-led missile strike, and the notion that it was conducted for humanitarian reasons.

“So @POTUS cares enough about the Syrian people to launch 50 Tomahawks but not enough to let the victims of Assad find refuge & freedom here,” Moulton, an Iraq War veteran, said in a tweet, adding in a second, “War doesn’t get any easier than launching a few Tomahawk missiles. Everything from here is harder and more complicated. We need a strategy.”

He followed up with a joint statement with Oklahoma Rep. Steve Russell, urging Trump to seek Congressional approval if he wants to escalate a military response—a sentiment echoed by his colleagues, Massachusetts Reps. Jim McGovern and Joe Kennedy III

Rep. Mike Capuano, appearing on Herald Radio this morning, sounded alarms about “World War III.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a statement she believed Syria “must be held accountable” for Tuesday’s gas attack, but also urged the U.S. to “embrace innocent people who are fleeing in terror” in the country, where a civil war has claimed more than 400,000 lives in six years and sparked an international refugee crisis.

Warren, too, called for a debate in Congress about military intervention. “If President Trump expects such an authorization,” she said in remarks printed in the Globe,” he owes the American people an explanation of his strategy to bring an end to the violence in Syria. We should not escalate this conflict without clear goals and a plan to achieve them.”

Sen. Ed Markey called for a “concrete plan” from the president “to ensure a a diplomatic end” to the conflict.

Added Kennedy III, “A great country would contribute more than just outrage. It would offer the terrorized children and families of refuge on its shores.”