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Franken, Klobuchar: Chemical weapons use must have consequences

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Minnesota's U.S. Senators are weighing in on a possible American military strike in Syria.

DFL Sen. Al Franken said he does not think the Obama administration needs congressional approval to launch a strike.  He said there is little doubt that Syria's Assad regime was behind chemical weapons attacks in the country.

Franken called the use of chemical weapons a violation of international norms that must have consequences.

"This cannot be allowed to stand," he said in an interview. "Now, this again is not about another land war in the Middle East. This is about a strike that is going to either use cruise missiles or bombers, so this is not about U.S. troops on the ground."

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar issued a brief statement that was less specific about a military response.

“The reports of chemical weapons attacks on innocent civilians are horrifying and cannot be tolerated," Klobuchar said.  "An international response is needed to prevent these atrocities from continuing. I met with the Syrian rebels and refugees this spring and believe we must work with our allies to build a strong coalition of support for any action taken to protect the Syrian people.”

Franken said the Obama administration has been consulting appropriate members of Congress as it prepares a potential response to Syria. He also said he expected the administration to release proof of claims that the Assad regime used chemical weapons.

He said he does not believe the U.S. needs the approval of the United Nations to proceed.

"We've  done things before without the U.N., but this will have as much international support as the administration can muster and I'm sure there will be a lot of international support," Franken said.