Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Authorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient GOP feuds with outside group over analysis of tax framework MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday night that President Trump needs congressional authorization for military action in Syria after Trump ordered an airstrike in retaliation for a deadly chemical attack earlier this week.

"While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked," Paul said in a statement shortly after reports that the U.S. had launched more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles against an airfield in Syria.

"The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate," Paul said. "Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different."

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Paul expressed similar sentiments earlier Thursday amid reports that the Trump administration was considering a strike. Earlier this week, President Bashar Assad's forces reportedly used chemical weapons against opponents, including civilians and children, in Syria's years-long civil war.

A number of Democrats on Thursday night also urged caution.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) sided with Paul on Twitter, saying that Trump "can use military force in defense of US. But attacking #Assad regime requires congressional approval."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) also called the strike "an act of war" on Twitter, saying that "Congress needs to come back into session & hold a debate. Anything less is an abdication of our responsibility."