Boehner: US action in Syria 'premature'

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that U.S. military involvement in Syria “at this point in time would be premature,” distancing himself from Sen. John McCain’s call for air strikes to protect civilians from a government crackdown.

McCain (Ariz.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Monday took to the Senate floor to call for U.S. military action to stop the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Boehner on Tuesday was unwilling to go that far.

“I think the situation in Syria is pretty complicated,” he told reporters. “I think until there’s clear direction as to what’s happening there, involving ourselves at this point in time would be premature.”

While a strong supporter of the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Boehner was a critic of President Obama’s handling of the military intervention in Libya last year.

He said the president failed to communicate effectively with the American people about the U.S. role in the conflict and should have sought congressional authorization for the prolonged use of military force.