NEW HAVEN—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement regarding reports that the Obama Administration is considering military strikes against Syria:

There is no longer any question that Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons to commit unspeakable atrocities against the people of Syria—his actions are absolutely reprehensible and in blatant violation of international law.

In the short-term, however, there is little chance that targeted air strikes would destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, making the strikes little more than a slap on the wrist. Moreover, those air strikes would prompt a reaction from Assad as well as the countries that finance his murderous regime. Before engaging in a military strike against Assad’s forces, the United States must understand that this action will likely draw us into a much wider and much longer-term conflict that could mean an even greater loss of life within Syria.

In addition to increasing humanitarian aid to the millions of innocent Syrians suffering at the hands of Assad, we must maintain concerted diplomatic, political, and economic pressure on the regime through the international community. As the primary financial backers of the current Syrian regime, Russia would be making a grave error by endorsing Assad’s actions, further isolating the country when its leadership in Moscow already faces intense scrutiny over the treatment of its own people.

I urge the Administration to continue to exercise restraint, because absent an imminent threat to America’s national security, the U.S. should not take military action without Congressional authorization.