Two lawmakers ask Trump to clarify legal basis for Syria strike

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP)

WASHINGTON (WAVY/AP) — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) have sent a letter to President Donald Trump, asking for legal clarification on an airstrike carried out on a Syrian airbase earlier this month.

A news release issued Tuesday states the lawmakers are asking Trump to lay out his legal basis for the attack.

READ: Full letter to President Trump

U.S. forces hit a Syrian airbase in retaliation for a chemical attack that had been carried against Syrian civilians. Officials said the base that was hit was where Syria military planes that dropped the chemicals took off.

Trump said there was no doubt Syrian President Bashar Assad was responsible for the chemical attack.

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Trump ordered the attack without approval from Congress and the United Nations.

Sen. Warner: ‘Coherent strategy’ still needed for Syria

The news release states Kaine and Schiff believe al-Assad “must be held accountable for his atrocities and war crimes.” The two are arguing that the missile strikes were unlawful.

The letter Kaine and Schiff sent to Trump states, in-part:

The need for a fulsome explanation of your war making power under these circumstances is all the more necessary as tensions rise in the Korean Peninsula, with the suggestion that a preemptive military strike or a retaliatory strike against North Korea are among the options “on the table.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.