LEESBURG, Va. (WAVY) — On Friday, a Virginia state senator said President Donald Trump is making a mistake about Syria.
It was around this time last year that Sen. Richard Black (R-Leesburg) was in Syria. While there, he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“My point was to bring peace to the Middle East,” said Sen. Black.
Now, in 2017, people in the Middle East are still dying. Dozens of civilians died after a chemical weapons attack earlier this week.
As a result, Trump took action by launching 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian airbase.
Sen. Black immediately took to social media in response. He sent out a stream of tweets and a statement. The state senator says there’s no motive for Assad to have launched any chemical attacks within his own country and “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”
As a former top prosecutor and head of the criminal law division at the Pentagon, he says motive is the first thing to look for. He can’t find it.
“[Assad’s] winning on every front,” he said. “Why — if he felt that it was so compelling to drop sarin gas and to cause the condemnation of the world — why would he not attack enemy armored formations, enemy soldiers who were dug in and entrenched. Why on earth would he make a small attack on a group of civilians?”
Sen. Black insists the chemical attack was the work of terrorists, tweeting: “Only way ISIS can defeat Pres. Assad is to draw U.S. into the war. What better way than stage an attack on women/children?”
“Why would we take the word of terrorists about the gas attack when killing innocent civilians is what they engage in, not President Assad,” said Sen. Black.
President Trump, however, disagrees.
“I think what Assad did is terrible,” the president said Thursday.
Sen. Black says he’s been a supporter of Trump, but not of his latest move.
“I’m deeply, deeply concerned that he is making a major blunder that is going to be very costly for the United States,” said Sen. Black. “I still have his bumper sticker on my car, but if we do an all-out war against Syria, the bumper sticker comes off.”