WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on President Trump’s overnight strikes in Syria.

“Bashar al Assad's most recent chemical attack on innocent Syrian civilians was a crime against humanity. Last night's air strikes targeting the launch site of those chemical weapons sent a message to Assad and to the world that using chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians is a gross violation of international law that will have consequences.

“As I did when Assad first used chemical weapons against his own population in 2013, I believe this heinous act merited an international response. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee then, I worked with a bipartisan group of senators to authorize the use of military force for the purpose of getting rid of Assad’s chemical weapons. Evidently, Syria has violated their obligations under that agreement to fully do so.

“As we consider further response to Assad’s brutal actions, we must also look at those actors complicit in his years of carnage, including Vladimir Putin in Russia. President Trump must also be prepared to address Russia’s role in this horrific conflict as well. Unless we change Russia and Iran’s commitment to propping up Assad, the slaughter will continue.

“Lastly, this latest chemical attack should serve as a gruesome reminder to the Trump administration of the horror in this brutal conflict, which has led to the worst refugee crisis since World War II. The United States has always been a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution and violence, and bombs alone will not bring about a resolution. We must also have a humane refugee policy as this humanitarian disaster continues to unfold.”