Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about the U.S. strikes against the Syrian government:

“These strikes were a proportional response to Bashar al-Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons against his own people. However, going forward, we need a clear understanding of what President Trump’s policy means. The use of chemical weapons is utterly abhorrent and banned by the international community, but the Syrian government’s other crimes against its own people are similarly unacceptable. One night of airstrikes will not change this fact, and President Trump should provide Congress and the American people with an explanation of his strategy, what happens next, and how he will deal with the repercussions of this situation.

“We must also confront Russian responsibility in this sequence of events, which only prolonged the conflict and helped to create this humanitarian crisis. The Russian government must be held accountable for the ways it has enabled these abuses.

“We must be absolutely clear on the fact that the Assad regime is illegitimate and stand solidly with the international community and the Syrian people on this point. That does not mean that the United States bears the responsibility for removing Assad through military action, but it does mean that we must work in concert with international partners toward an end-state where the Syrian government no longer takes these unacceptable actions against its people.”