McCarthy comments on U.S. strike on Syria

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

On April 6, U.S. military forces launched an attack on the Syrian government in response to a reported chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 civilians earlier that week.

U.S. warships, on President Donald Trump’s orders, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on the airbase that was home to the warplanes that carried out the attack. The strike was the first direct military response under the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose country has been embroiled in civil war since 2011.

“I commend our troops for their professionalism in carrying out these strikes,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who was here for a tour of China Lake just days before the strike was carried out. “Assad has made his disregard for human life and longstanding norms against chemical weapons use crystal clear. Tonight’s strikes show that these evil actions carry consequences.”

As the new administration continues to prioritize federal expenditures, many point to the recent development as a demonstration of the importance of investing in defense. Closer to home, China Lake — with its historic role in the development of the Tomahawk and contributions to the program today — continues to emerge as a valuable player in national security.

However, not all residents are in favor of the strike. During McCarthy’s mobile office hours on Tuesday, a handful of residents turned out to ask for clarification on the justification of the strike and the strategy moving forward. Many in the group also pointed to the president’s seemingly capricious behavior as grounds that he is unfit to direct any military endeavor.

Assad also broke his silence Wednesday, denying that he used chemical weapons to attack his people, and calling the story a “fabrication” to justify American military action.

Developments will be reported as they become available.

Story First Published: 2017-04-14