The remarks, at a political event in Texas, come as Clinton reemerges on the political scene months after losing the 2016 presidential election to Trump, who authorized airstrikes in Syria
on Thursday after blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a chemical attack in a rebel-controlled town
in the war-torn country.
“It is essential that the world does more to deter Assad from committing future murderous atrocities,” Clinton said. “But the action taken last night needs to be followed by a broader strategy to end Syria’s civil war.”
Referring to Trump’s administration, she added, “I also hope that they will recognize that we cannot in one breath speak of protecting Syrian babies and in the next close American doors to them.”
Trump and his top aides said before and after the air strikes that the President was deeply moved by photos and video of children being gassed by the Assad government.
“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies — babies, little babies — with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines,” Trump said before the airstrikes.
At the same time, however, Trump’s administration has advocated for a ban on Syrian refugees
coming to the United States, citing concerns about terrorism.
“I am establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” Trump said in January after he signed his first attempt to ban refugees from certain countries. “We don’t want them here.”
Courts blocked that ban as well as a second attempt, but Trump’s policy has been clear since he began running for president: No Syrian refugees.
Clinton has been outspoken about the ban.
“I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values & our Constitution,” she tweeted
. “This is not who we are.”
Clinton herself also suggested hitting Assad’s air force just hours before the strikes took place.
“I really believe that we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them,” she said Thursday during an event in New York.
As secretary of state, Clinton a proponent of more direct action in Syria despite Obama’s apprehension about military action in the country.