US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Friday called for President Donald Trump [official website] to consult Congress on potential further action following a military strike [WH press release] on Syria. While Ryan says [The Hill report] that it was within the President’s to authorize the launch, he further stated that now is the appropriate time “for the administration to consult with Congress as it considers next steps to resolve the long-running crisis in Syria.” Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution [LII backgrounder] grants the Congress the power to declare war. The President derives the power to direct the military [LII backgrounder] after a Congressional declaration of war from Article II, Section II, naming the President as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces
The war in Syria [JURIST backgrounder] continues to have a devastating impact, particularly in the war-torn region of Aleppo. In February, according to HRW [advocacy site], the Syrian government conducted [JURIST report] “coordinated chemical attacks” on rebel-controlled portions of Aleppo. The same month, more than 13,000 prisoners were hanged [JURIST report] in extrajudicial executions over a 5-year period at Saydnaya prison. Last Wednesday, The UN Security Council conducted emergency talks on Wednesday regarding an alleged chemical attack in Syria that killed numerous civilians [JURIST report]. Following that on Thursday evening, the U.S. military attacked Syria-government airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles [CNBC News].