Local Congressmen discuss U.S. involvement in Syria

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On Sunday, a pair of Valley congressmen made the trip to Washington for a briefing about the situation in Syria.

While they can’t discuss the details of the briefing, they did speak about their concerns and questions about authorizing military involvement.

Fresh back from a classified briefing in Washington, Congressman Tim Ryan talked with reporters about the situation in Syria.

“Can we make the situation better? And i’m not sure we can make the situation better,” said Ryan.

The classified briefing comes after President Obama asked for congressional approval to use military force against Syria, after evidence indicated chemical weapons were used by Syria’s president; a violation of international law. The alleged attack killed hundreds, including children.

“So if no action is taken here it’s basically saying anyone who has chemical weapons can go ahead and use it  and no one in the international community  will do something, and that’s really the risk here of not doing anything,” said Ryan.

Valley Congressman Bill Johnson was also at Sunday’s briefing.

“The decision on whether or not to commit american troops and risk american lives when the united states is not directly threatened is a very difficult one,” said Johnson.

Johnson said he left the briefing with more concerns and questions than he had beforehand. He, like Ryan, said he needs more information.

“Clearly, the Assad regime is a bad one, but has something happened at this point that would warrant putting our young men and women at risk to resolve, I’m just not sure,” said Johnson.

Ryan added that either way, this will be a difficult decision, and lives will be lost.

“Either there’s going to be innocent Syrians who are going to get killed as collateral damage from a potential attack or if we do nothing, Assad continues to use chemical weapons and kills innocent Syrians with chemical weapons,” said Ryan.

More briefings and hearing are in the works. Congress is back in session next week.


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