GOP rep explains why he backs Syria attack now after opposing under Obama

Rep. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott Yoho7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Why AOC should be next to lead the DNC Ocasio-Cortez defends Biden's incoming deputy chief of staff amid blowback MORE (R-Fla.) on Tuesday defended his decision to back a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base after opposing military action in Syria under former President Obama.

"It's four years later. 480,000 people have been slaughtered over there," Yoho said on CNN's "New Day." "And so what President Trump did was an immediate attack. He says enough is enough."

President Trump's decision to order the strike, Yoho said, was limited in scope and did not commit the U.S. to an extensive military campaign in Syria. But he echoed the calls of other lawmakers for the president to get congressional approval before carrying out any further use of force.


"I am still of the mindset that we are not going to commit. What we did, I feel, was right at the verge of an act of war," he said. "We attacked a sovereign nation, and so for him to go any further, he's got to come to Congress.

"We have to talk about this. I'm not willing to commit American taxpayers' money anymore or American troops on the ground in another Middle Eastern country."

President Trump ordered the missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in Syria last week in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack in the country's Idlib Province allegedly carried out by Syria's military under President Bashar Assad, who has been fighting armed opposition in a yearslong civil war. That chemical attack left more than 80 civilians dead.

Still, the U.S. missile strike marked a significant escalation of the country's use of force in Syria, and top Trump administration officials — including Trump himself — have said that the U.S. was prepared to take further military action, if necessary.

The attack also signaled a drastic change in the administration's approach to the Assad government. Late last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley appeared to move away from the Obama administration's position that Assad should be removed from power.

Since then, both diplomats have reversed course, saying that any Syrian peace settlement would require Assad to step down.