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Report: Trump Informs Congress of Reasons for Strike in Syria

Report: Trump Informs Congress of Reasons for Strike in Syria
(AP)

Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:41 PM

President Donald Trump has informed Congress in writing of his decision to order a U.S. missile strike against Syria.

Under the War Powers Resolution, the president must keep Congress informed of such actions.

Trump's letter to congressional leaders cites the rationale he gave publicly Friday night when he announced that the U.S. and allies Britain and France were firing missiles into Syria in response to an alleged poison gas attack on Syrian rebels near Damascus the previous week. He writes that the targets were Syrian military chemical weapons-related facilities.

The president tells lawmakers that he acted to "promote the stability of the region, to deter the use and proliferation of chemical weapons, and to avert a worsening of the region's current humanitarian catastrophe."

Germany's foreign minister hopes the U.S.-led air strikes in Syria will result in a fresh effort to find a peaceful solution to the seven-year conflict.

Heiko Maas told public broadcaster ARD the military attack by Western nations against Bashar Assad's forces "should make clear to all parties that we don't just have the opportunity but the necessity to take up the political process again."

Maas says he hopes a "window for dialogue" has opened with Moscow — Syria's ally — now that the Russian elections have passed.

He says European Union foreign ministers will meet Monday to discuss the situation and put forward proposals for steps going forward.

Germany didn't join the United States, Britain and France in the strikes, though Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the attack "necessary and appropriate."

French President Emmanuel Macron says France wants to launch a diplomatic initiative over Syria that would include Western powers, Russia and Turkey.

Macron, speaking on French television BFM and online site Mediapart, said "we are preparing a political solution" aiming at allowing a political solution for Syria.

He stressed the French diplomacy is able to talk with Iran, Russia and Turkey on one side, and the United States on the other side.

He said "ten days ago President Trump wanted to withdraw from Syria. We convinced him to remain."

The U.S., France and the U.K. launched the airstrikes early Saturday on three chemical weapons facilities in Syria to punish the regime for alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Douma on April 7.

Macron added that the Russians are "accomplices" of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime because they blocked the U.N. Security Council.

Macron says the joint military strikes by the U.S., France and Britain against Syrian targets were carried out in retaliation after the allies obtained evidence that the government of Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons against its own people.

"It was retaliation, not an act of war," Macron said in a live interview on French TV channel BMF and online investigative site Mediapart.

Macron said the allies had "full international legitimacy to intervene" in Syria because the strikes were about enforcing international humanitarian law.

The French leader said the allies were forced to act without an explicit U.N. mandate because of the "constant stalemate of the Russians" in the Security Council.

Macron said, "We had arrived at a time when these strikes had become indispensable."

"The regime of Bashar Assad has an enemy who is his people," Macron said.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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President Donald Trump has informed Congress in writing of his decision to order a U.S. missile strike against Syria. Under the War Powers Resolution, the president must keep Congress informed of such actions.Trump's letter to congressional leaders cites the rationale he...
syria, trump, congress, military strike
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2018-41-15
Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:41 PM
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