HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Both of North Alabama's congressmen believe President Obama should consult with lawmakers before deciding whether to use military force against Syria.
Their statements also came in response to remarks from Secretary of State John Kerry concerning claims that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against its own people.
"I applaud Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent candor about Syria's perceived use of chemical weapons against its own people," said U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville. "Congress is the proper forum for a public policy debate on whether America should use military force against Syria."
U.S. Robert Aderholt called the chemical attack on civilians "horrible and tragic" but expresses concerns over any U.S. military action in Syria.
"There's much we don't know and what we do know does not warrant intervention," Aderholt said. "It's in the best interest of the president and Americans for President Obama to go to Congress to get support.
"… He cannot order military strikes without congressional approval."
Noting the lack of support from Great Britain and other allies, Brooks said the president should not take action without consulting Congress even though the lawmakers won't be back in session for another week and a half.
"Given the perceived hesitancy of the United Nations and some of America's closest allies to support an attack on Syria, I urge the president to engage in no military action until Congress has reconvened in 10 days and has approved any military action to be taken, if any," he said.
Aderholt said it would be difficult to make "precision" strikes without risking civilian lives. He said rebel forces are among the civilian population "so when they are attacked, innocent people are slaughtered and that shows a lot about the nature of the rebels."
The Haleyville Republican also said if the rebels should overthrow the government, there's no assurance the new government would work with the United States and its allies.
"My concern about it right now is the fact that if you get the rebels in there and they were to take over the government, we don't know who's behind that," he said. "It could be al-Qaeda, it could be other groups that could be just as bad as al-Qaeda, and could definitely be worse than (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad is.
"So, I think we have to be very careful, and we have to be very methodic about how we move forward."