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Utah Delegation Mostly Backs US Airstrike On Syria

Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation largely praised President Trump’s decision to launch a sudden airstrike on a Syrian airfield Thursday night.

Moments after news broke that President Trump had ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles to rain down on a Syrian military installation, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz tweeted “God bless the U.S.A.!”

Other members, like Rep. Chris Stewart, said the strike was an appropriate response to the Syrian government using a banned chemical weapon on its own citizens this week, killing dozens of civilians.

Stewart said while the action will not remove President Bashar al-Assad or solve the “horrifying humanitarian disaster” there, destroying the airfield will help prevent future attacks on his own people.

Sen. Orrin Hatch also Tweeted his approval quoting President Trump’s statement that “No child of God should ever suffer such horror” and adding an “Amen.”

The reactions from Utah’s Congressional members were a reversal from 2013, when Hatch, Chaffetz and Stewart said they did not support U.S. intervention in Syria’s prolonged civil war.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Lee was more cautious. He said President Trump must get approval from Congress before increasing military involvement in the troubled region.

He said: “Anytime we send our young men and women into harm’s way, the president owes it to the American people to come to Congress and present a plan.”

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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