WASHINGTON, April 16. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump has responded to the criticism on the part of lawmakers by claiming that as commander-in-chief, he had constitutional authority to order missile strikes on Syria on Saturday.
In a letter to the US Congress, Trump said that the attack on Syria was "in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States to promote the stability of the region, to deter the use and proliferation of chemical weapons, and to avert a worsening of the region’s current humanitarian catastrophe."
Following the Saturday missile attack, a number of US lawmakers openly criticized Trump’s decision to order the military action without the consent of Congress. Congressman Seth Moulton wrote on Twitter that such an action "requires the authorization of Congress - unless you don’t believe in the Constitution." "I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s ‘Constitution,’ but I’ve read ours and nowhere in it is presidential authority to strike Syria," Republican Representative Thomas Massie noted.
In order to cool the criticism, Trump did send a notification to Congress two days after the attack on Syria had taken place. "The purpose of this military action was to degrade the Syrian military's ability to conduct further chemical weapons attacks and to dissuade the Syrian government from using or proliferating chemical weapons," the US president said.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile attack on Syria’s military and civilian infrastructure facilities was carried out by US warplanes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French on Saturday. The Syrian air defenses managed to shoot down 71 out of 103 missiles fired by the United States and its allies.
Earlier, the US, Great Britain and France claimed the strikes had been conducted in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital.
Washington, London and Paris claimed the strikes to be a response to a chemical weapons attack, which had allegedly happened in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7. Reports about the incident had been spread by a number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets.
The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed those allegations as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they were known for spreading fabricated news.
On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria visited Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons.