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Courtney Statement On Syria Air Strikes

April 7, 2017
Press Release

NORWICH, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) issued the following statement on last night’s US air strikes in Syria:

"Seen in isolation, last night's air strikes on a Syrian military air base conducted by US Navy destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean appear to be a proportionate response to Assad’s despicable use of sarin gas in flagrant violation of international law. However, further engagement in this conflict risks escalation that has the potential to carry serious consequences for the United States, including direct confrontation with Syria’s backers in Russia, which is why we need a comprehensive diplomatic approach to addressing the crisis in Syria. And, it is more important than ever the president consult Congress on further military action – and that Congress take up its constitutional responsibility to engage in authorizing any further use of military force in this complex situation. This is no time for Congress to be on the side lines, and Speaker Ryan should call the House back in session immediately.”

In a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week, Courtney questioned General Joseph Votel, Commander of US Central Command, on the increasing deployments of US Marines to support operations in Syria. Courtney noted his concern about more direct military involvement in the conflict without Congressional authorization, and that “we’re sort of creeping in that direction.”

In August 2013, Courtney called on then-President Barrack Obama to seek Congressional approval for any plan to take military action to respond to the situation in Syria.

Courtney is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Ranking Member of the House Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.