United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley show pictures of Syrian chemical attack victims, as she address a meeting of the Security Council on Syria, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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Colorado leaders react to chemical weapons attack, airstrikes in Syria

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Colorado congressional leaders condemned the chemical weapons attack launched by the government of President Bashar al-Assad after the U.S. military launched cruise missiles into Syria Thursday.

President Trump’s assault on a Syrian military airfield with 59 cruise missiles is the first direct U.S. intervention in the country’s 6-year-old civil war, and it could enflame relations with Russia and Iran, supporters of Assad.

“Tonight, the United States of America took action against a treacherous regime whose actions and allies have shown the world the dark edge of humanity,” Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Yuma who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

“The use of chemical weapons is illegal under international law and the administration is well-justified taking this long-overdue action tonight against a designated state sponsor of terrorism.”

He continued, “I believe this action must be part of a broader strategy to achieve the following U.S. national security goals: to ultimately remove a brutal and lawless regime from power that is in violation of international law, to eradicate the Islamic State and associated groups, and to achieve a clear humanitarian goal of saving the Syrian people from slaughter.

“I hope our partners in freedom and dignity will see this U.S. leadership as the first act of a global partnership to end this chapter of depravity.”

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Denver cited the victims in the chemical weapons attack.

“The chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed innocent civilians, including children, required a response,” he said in a statement. “The Assad regime must be held accountable for these atrocities.

“Assad has no place in the future of Syria. As long as he is in power, the Syrian people will remain trapped in a horrific and dangerous situation.”

He cautioned against Trump acting alone against.

“Moving forward, any military action must be conducted in consultation with Congress and considered only as part of an articulated strategy to address the ongoing crisis,” Bennet said.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs, said Assad has exceeded the bounds of “civilized leaders,” and he backed Trump’s play.

“Unlike the previous administration which walked away from similar outrages, President Trump is willing to send a clear signal of U.S. opposition to crimes against humanity,” Lamborn said. “We hope and pray that this display of strength will prevent chemical attacks against innocent civilians in the future.”

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