House Armed Services Committee Chairman William “Mac” Thornberry said Monday that the U.S. should “absolutely” consider a new round of airstrikes against Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for a poison gas attack this weekend. But the Texas Republican encouraged cooperation from foreign allies in retaliating against Assad’s regime.
“We should do so with those allies to make it an international condemnation of chemical weapons,” Thornberry said on Fox News. “It is really important for our allies like Britain and France to stand with us.” Monday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he wouldn’t rule out airstrikes against the Assad regime.
Thornberry also suggested the White House follow its playbook from the April 2017 chemical weapons attack in Syria, which killed roughly 100 people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in northwest Syria. In response, President Donald Trump authorized launching nearly 60 Tomahawk cruise misses to destroy an airbase controlled by the Syrian government.
“I thought that made very good sense, and it seems to me we ought to consider doing it again with our allies,” Thornberry said. Dozens of Syrians — including many women and children — were killed in a chemical weapons attack on Saturday in the rebel-held town of Douma, a suburb east of Damascus. Syria and Russia have denied the Syrian government was involved in the assault.