Tea Party senator says he’ll oppose Syria strikes

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Lee was among a number of senators who attended a classified briefing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey on Syria. He’s a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He said he doesn’t think the president’s options will accomplish the goal of deterring chemical weapons attacks.

“It remains unclear how the president’s plan to execute limited strikes would prevent Assad from using chemical weapons again or even make it less likely,” he said. “Second, it is entirely possible that ineffective U.S. strikes would embolden Assad to become even more ruthless towards his people.”

This is the first official full statement the Utah senator has made regarding Syria since the Obama administration began to voice its intentions to attack.

He tweeted twice about Syria on Friday after Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for an intervention.