While hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Palm Beach, FL resort, President Donald Trump informed his guest that the United States was launching a missile strike at a Syrian air base in response to a Syrian government chemical weapons attack against civilians. Two U.S. Navy destroyers launched 60 Tomahawk missiles at targets within Shayrat air base near the Mediterranean coast.
Battle damage assessments show that the missiles wiped out surface-to-air missile sites, weapons depots believed to hold chemical warheads and vast swaths of runway. Tomahawk missiles carry 1000-lb. warheads and have a range of about 1000 miles.
America’s United Nations Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley told her colleagues that the United States won’t allow Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad to get away with more atrocities. The use of chemical weapons violates international law. She also said Russia bears responsibility in the chemical attack. The Russians and the terrorist group Hezbollah are known to use the Shayrat air base. Syria is engaged in a civil war with government opposition forces and the international terrorist group ISIS.
Sen. Rand Paul and others in Congress called the missile strike unconstitutional. Article 1, Sect. 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to declare war. The Trump Administration called the action a “one-off” strike. U.S. Presidents have launched 125 offensive actions without Congressional authorization, starting with Thomas Jefferson, who ordered a naval attack against the Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean.
South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan remarked, “The strike showed Syria and the rest of the world that the United States will no longer be a pushover, whether it is in regards to human right abuses, sovereignty threats agains the United States or direct threats against the United States. From the facts I currently have, I believe this specific action was in the vital national security interests of the U.S.”