Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said this morning that U.S. airstrikes in Syria achieved a clear military objective by significantly degrading one of the regime's six air bases.
Rubio pointed out that the airfield in Homs was used by Bashar Assad's regime to conduct a chemical attack earlier this week. It was hit by 59 Tomahawk missiles from U.S. Navy warships in the Mediterranean Sea.
The U.S. military said no Russian aircraft were at the base and that Moscow received a warning about an hour beforehand. The Pentagon estimated 20 Syrian jets were destroyed by the strikes.
Rubio emphasized that U.S. forces are operating in Syria and Iraq against ISIS and the use of sarin gas by Assad poses a clear threat.
"It was the right choice and it was conducted in the right way," he said.
Responding to opposition by some of his Senate colleagues, including Mike Lee and Rand Paul on the right and Elizabeth Warren and Tim Kaine on the left, Rubio said getting congressional approval for such an action is an "age-old debate."
"We don't have 535 commander-in-chiefs, we have one. This is not a declaration of war, this is not a commitment of significant ground troops over an extended period of time. This was a strategic attack in exigent circumstances. The president has to have the ability to act," said Rubio, adding that the action was legal and appropriate.
He added that he believes the strikes will lead to a different "cost-benefit analysis" by the Assad regime, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.
"Up to this point, they figured 'we can do whatever we want and nothing will happen to us,' other than a nasty letter from the U.N.," he said.
Watch the "Fox & Friends" interview above.