Local lawmakers react to military strikes in Syria

Published: Apr. 14, 2018 at 7:51 PM EDT
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“We don't know what's going to happen, that's what is the real uncertainty here,” said Welch.

Congressman Peter Welch says he's appalled at the alleged chemical attack in Syria. He says the use of chemical weapons violates international treaties, and the military response Friday night, was necessary. But, he also says the Trump administration doesn't have a clear strategy in dealing with the Middle Eastern country.

“My view is that it's time the President seek an authorization from Congress, and it’s up to congress to debate that and give some definition to what it is we’re doing,” said Welch.

Many local leaders agree including Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy.

In New Hampshire, Senator Maggie Hassan issued a statement which included, "It is critical that the President present the American people with a consistent and comprehensive strategy, for Syria that includes a path to a post-Assad political solution that addresses the continued support of Russia and Iran for the brutal dictator."

New York Senator Chuck Schumer said in a tweet, "The administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria."

“It's not clear what this is going to accomplish. The last time we struck, nothing really changed,” said UVM Assistant Professor of political science, Peter Henne.

Henne, says the airstrikes could create a bigger problem; specifically with Russia, an alley of the Assad regime.

“Stepping up support for Assad so he has cover to keep doing this, being more hostile in Eastern Europe, things like that we might want to be worried about,” he said.

But, he says direct military conflict with Russia is not likely. He also says that because there hasn't been a thorough investigation into the attacks, many more questions remain about how they were carried out.

“It's possible a rebel group did this to make Assad look bad, but he's done this in the past it feels like a stretch.” Henne said. “There's such uncertainty in the Trump administration over their strategy, that it’s really hard to predict what going to happen next.”

Uncertainty that Welch and other lawmakers share, as another volatile situation plays out in the Middle East.