Congressman Rigell speaks on Syria airstrikes

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – More U.S. and coalition airstrikes pounded ISIS strongholds in Syria on Tuesday.

The airstrikes destroyed multiple targets, including training facilities and command buildings. Many of the tomahawk missiles were fired by Norfolk-based ships: the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier and the guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke.

President Obama addressed the nation Tuesday morning and stressed that the U.S. had help in the operation. The president also said the U.S. disrupted a plot against the U.S. by seasoned Al-Qaeda operatives in Syria.

10 On Your Side’s Anita Blanton caught up with Congressman Scott Rigell in Norfolk at his annual job fair at the Ted Constant Center at ODU. He shared his opinion on the situation in Syria.

“Mr. President, come to the American people’s representatives,” Rigell said. “Trust the American people, and I think he’d be well served by doing so. His belief that he has the authority to launch offensive operations without first receiving Congressional authorization, on that, we are in firm disagreement.”

Congressman Rigell said he shares the President’s assessment of the threat that ISIS poses, but he holds firm that the president still needs to make his case for war. He said Congressional approval should be seen as a sign of strength, showing that the country is united behind the president, and supportive of his strategy.

“I’ll go on record,” Rigell said. “I believe that he would receive authorization, and there’s great power in this.”

That power, he says, is needed to support our armed forces while they’re in harm’s way. And with so many local families of those aboard the USS George HW Bush and USS Arleigh Burke directly impacted by Tuesday’s announcement, here’s Congressman Rigell’s message to you.

“Our region has always been at the tip of the spear in defending our country, and this is true today,” Rigell said. “We’re deeply grateful, just from one American family to another, I’d say thank you to the families who have a loved one deployed. We’re standing with you and you’re loved one who’s in harm’s way.”

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