National Security

Cardin Dodges on Support for Military Action in Syria After Chemical Weapons Attack

Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) dodged Monday morning when asked if he would support military action in Syria after the Assad regime again used chemical weapons.

CNN host Alisyn Camerota asked Cardin five times regarding whether the United States should take action. Each time, Cardin avoided directly answering, saying Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad must be "held accountable" without specifying how. Cardin said the United States should work with the United Nations and other countries on the matter.

Many in Congress have called for President Donald Trump to first receive an Authorization for Use of Military Force before conducting any military action in Syria. Camerota asked about Cardin's position on the use of military force, and he said Congress should discuss responses with the White House and the international community.

"But you personally, do you think the U.S. should respond militarily to this?" Camerota said.

"I think the United States needs to work with international partners and it needs to be more than just considering a military option, it needs to hold Assad accountable and to undermine his support with Russia and Iran," Cardin said. "I think that's critically important so we don't have another chemical weapon attack six months from now or three months from now."

"Is that a no?" Camerota asked.

"No, it needs to be part of a package," he said. "Work with the international community; there are steps that could be taken."

Cardin also expressed support for Trump's limited response to another chemical attack last year. Trump ordered cruise missile strikes against the Assad regime after that chemical weapons attack.