US Republican Senator Rand Paul (C) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, on March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
Republican Senator Rand Paul has said that the recent US missile attack against Syrian government targets is “an inappropriate way to begin a war.”
“My concern has been mostly that this is an inappropriate way to begin a war, that the Constitution says war begins with a vote in Congress,” Paul said on Saturday.
“I think this is a wrongheaded notion, that we just skip the most important step and that is whether or not we should go to war,” he added.
The US military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat airbase in Homs province in western Syrian early Friday.
The missiles were launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the eastern Mediterranean. The strike killed nine civilians, including four children on Friday, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA. According to one report, the strike also destroyed as many as 20 Syrian aircraft.
US President Donald Trump ordered the strike just a day after he pointed the finger at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the chemical attack which killed at least 70 people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib.
In this image released by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
President Trump said the operation was in response to the chemical attack in Idlib province. The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for that attack.
Senator Paul also wrote an article on Friday, in which he called for “a thoughtful and honest discussion about the ramifications, authorization, and motivations for war.”
In addition, he also said that the missile strike against the military airbase means that the US is fighting on the same side as the Daesh (ISIL) terror group.
“Make no mistake, bombing Assad means the United States is fighting on the same side as ISIS (Daesh),” Paul wrote, describing Trump’s policy as “dangerous and morally wrong.”
“Military action is not in our national security interest and should not be authorized. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different,” the lawmaker wrote.
Paul, who ran an unsuccessful presidential bid against Trump last year, said the president had to consult Congress before taking military action against other countries.
Since March 2011, the United States and its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have been conducting a proxy war against the Syrian people and government.
The years-long conflict has left more than 470,000 Syrians dead and half of the country’s population of about 23 million displaced within or beyond the Arab country’s borders.
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