Members of Hawaii's congressional delegation question Syria strikes

WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has come out against the president's decision to conduct military strikes against Syria in response to a suspected gas attack.

"The use of chemical weapons is a heinous violation of international law and should be dealt with by the international community," Hanabusa said, in a statement. "However, Syria is not within the purview of the current Authorization for Use of Military Force."

She continued, "I don't believe the President had the authority to order this strike and escalate a long standing conflict without a clear plan," Hanabusa said. "Under the War Powers Act, he should have come to Congress to seek authorization."

In an address to the nation Friday, President Trump said the U.S. had joined with France and Britain to launch the attack.

Explosions lit up the skies over Damascus, the Syrian capital, as Trump spoke from the White House.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono also expressed discontentment with the president's decision.

"Bashar al-Assad has again used chemical weapons against his own people," Hirono said in a statement. "This is another atrocity and breach of international law, and the international community must hold him accountable"

She continued, "While today's action was taken in concert with France and Great Britain, the President stated that 'we are prepared for a sustained response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents."

"I am deeply concerned by the President's incoherent strategy in this critically important area of the world where there are layers of complexity and no easy answers," Hirono said.

"If the President is going to shift our mission in Syria, he needs to come to Congress for authorization and explain exactly what his strategy is, and how it supports U.S. national security interests and ends the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe and refugee crisis."

U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard has continually been vocal about the crisis in Syria and made a plea for the president to think of Syria's people.

"The people of Syria desperately want to live in peace and do not want their country to be taken over by genocidal terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS," Gabbard said in a statement.

"If we are truly concerned about the suffering of the Syrian people and bringing about peace and stability so that refugees can return home and begin to rebuild their lives, then we should work for peace, end our policy of interventionist regime change wars and stop trying to be the policeman of the world."

Earlier Friday, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard urged the president not to strike Syria.

Other members of Hawaii's congressional delegation have not yet weighed in on the attack.

This story will be updated.

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