The Democrat who’s hoping to challenge Republican Congressman Steve King in November says it appears Syria’s government has committed a war crime and there should be an “international response.” Jim Mowrer of Boone is a former Iowa National Guardsman who worked in the Pentagon ’til June when he resigned to run for congress.

“Clearly there is a very good case being made that the Assad regime used chemical weapons and the use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons is unacceptable,” Mowrer says.

However, Mowrer says the president should get congressional “consent” before launching any strike into Syria. In addition, Mowrer says the U.S. “must not go it alone.”

“There has to be repercussions to the use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons,” Mowrer says, “because if there are no repercussions, that’s going to spread and this, you know, again impacts our future foreign policy. It includes nuclear proliferation in Iran and the security of our allies as well.”

Three members of Iowa’s congressional delegation have said this week that they are leaning against voting for a congressional resolution giving the president authority to launch a military strike against Syria. Congressman King told The Omaha World Herald last week it sounded as if the president is determined “to kill some Syrians to send the message” that Syria’s president should “stop killing Syrians,” but King has not indicated how he may vote on the issue in congress.

“He’s had enough to give a speech in South Carolina and do a rally in Virginia and pose for photos in New Hampshire, but not enough time to address the biggest issue that’s facing congress right now, “Mowrer says, “and I think Iowa and the fourth district deserves better.”

Mowrer, who is 27, was part of an Iowa National Guard unit that deployed to Iraq for 23 months. Mowrer later returned to Iraq as a private contractor before taking a job in the Pentagon in 2010 as special assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army.