Critics say President Donald Trump acted unconstitutionally when he authorized the U.S. military to fire 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian town on April 6, without getting approval from Congress. Some are even calling to begin impeachment proceedings.
"While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked," Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tweeted on April 6. "The President needs Congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer and Syria will be no different."
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Others are defending Trump, saying that he acted within the parameters of the Constitution to conduct an emergency strike.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that the president was within his rights to attack, because Syria had reportedly violated the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to The New York Times.
"We feel that the strike itself was proportional, because it was targeted at the facility that delivered the most recent chemical weapons attack," Tillerson said in a statement, according to The Inquisitr. "There was a thorough examination of a wide range of options, and I think the president made the correct choice and made the correct decision."
Critics are drawing comparisons between Trump's actions and those taken by former President Barack Obama in 2013, when a similar chemical attack in Syria opened the possibility for Obama to retaliate.
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"The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!" Trump tweeted at the time.
In October 2012, Trump suggested Obama would likely attack Libya or Iran because his "poll numbers are in a tailspin" and "he is desperate," drawing some comparisons between his own low poll results and the attack.
Trump is standing by his decision to attack Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
"Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children," the president said in a statement, according to The Inquisitr. "It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons."
Democratic whip Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said the response was "measured" and directly related to the nerve gas attack.
"Any further action will require close scrutiny by Congress, and any escalation beyond airstrikes or missile strikes will require engaging the American people in that decision," Durbin said in a statement.