Mass. senators urge caution on Syria action

Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren urged caution as the United States appears to be moving toward military action against the regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad after his alleged use of chemical weapons.

Speaking after an unrelated event in Boston on Wednesday afternoon, Markey indicated that he could support limited military action in Syria, but said he wanted to first hear the Obama administration’s case.

“As long as it was surgical, limited and not involving American ground troops, then I think that it is possible for us to send a strong signal to Assad that chemical weapons are not usable in the 21st century,” the state’s newest senator said.

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But, Markey cautioned, “we do not want to involve ourselves with ground troops in a civil war in Syria.”

He said anything the US does should “just be limited to ensuring that chemical weapons are not used” and said he has “real reservations” about imposing a no-fly zone over the troubled, civil war-torn country.

He added Congress should be consulted before any military action on Syria is taken.

Addressing reporters at the same event, Warren did not take a hard stance on whether she would support military action against Syria.

Calling what Assad has done “reprehensible” and a violation of international law, the state’s senior senator said it is important that the United States have “a plan, a goal, and we have a reasonable way for achieving that goal” before action is taken.

“I want to caution on this: It’s critically important that we remember about unintended consequences. We may have good intentions, but the consequences of our acts are not limited by those intentions,” Warren said.

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