The U.S. aims to send a stern warning to Syria over its reported plans for a chemical weapons attack, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said Wednesday.
"We want to send a strong message. Do not bomb your people and do not drop these chemical weapons, and a reminder that we will be firm if they do," Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
On Tuesday, the White House released a statement saying the Syrian government would "pay a heavy price" if it launched a chemical attack.
Royce said if Syria carries out an attack anyway, the U.S. will "probably" send a Tomahawk missile response, like the U.S. did when a Syria attack killed civilians.
"The goal here, as I indicated, is to send them the message in advance not to do it, in order to save lives," Royce said.
U.S. special operations forces are already in the area working against ISIS, and "the sooner they (ISIS operatives) are taken out, the better," Royce added.
Syrian President Bashir Assad's actions may require U.S. intervention, the congressman said.
"It's in our national security interests, in my view, to take what steps we can to prevent them from using chemical attacks again," Royce said.
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