ST. PAUL, Minn. - Sen. Al Franken offered his support to the Obama Administration and its plans to have a military strike against the Assad Syrian government.
The attack is to chastise the Assad regime for an alleged chemical attack on rebels and civilians in August.
Speaking in St. Paul on Tuesday, Franken called the use of chemical weapons "unacceptable."
"There is no question that there was a massive chemical attack there," said Franken. "Doctors without Borders was there to confirm there were toxins. This is an outrage. It is hideous. There has to be a response."
Franken said he does not feel American troops should be part of the strike.
"We are not talking about boots on the ground," said Franken. "We are talking about probably a cruise missile strike or maybe a strike from bombers, but this cannot be allowed to stand. This will be done with consultation from Congress. They have already been consulting Congress and again, this is outside international norm and is hideous and cannot be allowed to go without consequence."
Several news agencies are reporting that the White House is planning a series of cruise missile strikes from ships and submarines in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack is expected to last about three days and it could begin as soon as Thursday.
Some Senators, most notably Republican John McCain, of Arizona, do not favor a cruise missile attack because they don't feel it is sufficient to turn the tide of battle against Assad's forces. However, the White House said the military attack would not be to affect "regime change," but would be a warning to Assad and others about using chemical weapons in war.
The U.S. is in a difficult quandary in Syria. Obama would like to separate the question of the chemical attacks from the larger civil war. If the U.S. backs the rebels against the Assad regime, America could be helping the nation's mortal enemy, Al Qaeda.
The Syrian civil war erupted in 2011 after the Syrian Army fired on protestors demanding economic and political reforms. It was not a religiously-based movement; however, as the conflict dragged on, Jihadists, including Al Qaeda, moved in and assisted and even dominated the rebels.
For that reason, some U.S. political and military leaders have balked at supplying arms to the rebels for fear of allowing them to fall into Al Qaeda's hands.
The ruling Assad family are Alawites, an obscure, not particularly militant, sect of Islam. They are a minority within Syria. Most Muslim Syrians are Sunnis.
Many of the attacks during the two years of conflict have involved attacks by the rebels on Alawite villages. Christians have sometimes been attacked because it was believed the Christians sided with the Alawites.
There have been reports of atrocities by both sides in the dispute, which has cost the lives of more than 100,000 Syrians.
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