Sen. Graham: Assad now a 'legitimate war criminal’

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's intraparty feuds divide Republicans Trump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday said the international community should now view Syrian President Bashar Assad as a "legitimate war criminal” and suggested that Assad and his inner circle are now "legitimate military targets."

“I think now he is a legitimate war criminal in the eyes of the international community,” Graham said on “Fox & Friends.”

“And that Assad and his inner circle should be considered war criminals, legitimate military targets. If you have the opportunity to take him out, you should.”

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Lawmakers are urging President Trump to take action after a reported chemical attack over the weekend in the Syrian city of Douma.

Graham, who has long advocated for action against Assad, called for the implementation of safe zones inside Syria.

The South Carolina lawmaker said Trump now has the chance to send a message to countries like Russia and Iran.

“The world is watching the president. Iran is watching the president. Russia is watching the president. And North Korea is watching the president,” Graham said.

“This president has the chance to do exactly the opposite of Obama — send a strong signal that there’s a new sheriff in town and America’s back.”

Trump on Sunday in a tweet implicated Russian President Vladimir Putin for backing Assad, who has received political and military support from Moscow throughout the country’s civil war.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world,” Trump said. “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad.”

Syria and Russia both accused Israel of launching a Monday morning missile strike on a Syrian air base following the reported chemical attack.