Neal expresses support for Syria missile strike

Says president will need congressional approval before further actions

richard neal
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield) is seen here in a WWLP file image from 2015

WASHINGTON (WWLP) – President Donald Trump’s decision to launch a missile strike against a Syrian airfield was the right one, Congressman Richard Neal says, but the president will need to go through Congress if he wants to take further action.

The Springfield Democrat released a statement to 22News Friday afternoon, following the previous night’s strike on the Shayrat air base. U.S. officials believe that it was from that base that a chemical attack was launched earlier this week, killing about 80 people.

“The images the international community witnessed this week from Syria were tragic, heartbreaking and shocking. Bashir al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against innocent men, women and children in that country’s six year civil war is inhuman and demanded a response. That’s why I supported the limited and proportional airstrikes against key Syrian assets by our Armed Forces,” Neal wrote.

He went on to say, however, that any further military action in Syria will have to be “thoroughly debated” by Congress.

Neal’s sentiments are somewhat similar to those the state’s two Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, who said that Congress must give authorization before any future action. Congressman James McGovern (D-Worcester), however, says that Trump should not have launched Thursday night’s strike, either, without having consulted Congress first.

Like McGovern, however, Neal did add that he does not believe that additional military action would be the best solution.

“The American people simply do not want to enter another open ended conflict in the region. In my opinion, a political solution, not further military engagement, is the best strategy to bring meaningful change to Syria,” Neal said.