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Schumer says Trump strikes 'appropriate,' warns against greater involvement in Syria

 Schumer says Trump strikes 'appropriate,' warns against greater involvement in Syria
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFive takeaways from the final Tennessee Senate debate Schumer rips Trump 'Medicare for all' op-ed as 'smears and sabotage' GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter MORE (D-N.Y.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE's decision to mount a military strike on Syria was "appropriate," but warned against deepening the United States's involvement in the war-torn country. 

"A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria," Schumer said in a statement.

Schumer's comments came shortly after Trump announced that the U.S., France and the United Kingdom had launched "precision strikes" on targets in Syria in response to an apparent chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus that left dozens dead.

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The U.S. and other Western countries have blamed the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for mounting the chemical strike last weekend that left more than 40 people dead in the Syrian town of Douma.

Syria and its allies, Russia and Iran, have denied that Assad's government used chemical weapons. Russia accused the U.K. on Friday of staging the attack.

Vice President Pence, who is in Lima, Peru, returned to his hotel on Friday night to make calls notifying congressional leaders of the strike.

Pence spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJuan Williams: Trump’s policies on race are more important than his rhetoric It’s Mitch McConnell’s Washington – and we’re just living in it Trump makes new overtures to Democrats MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanElection Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight Paul Ryan to campaign for 25 vulnerable House Republicans GOP super PAC pushes back on report it skipped ad buys for California's Rohrabacher, Walters MORE (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion: Treasury GOP has not done a good job of selling economic achievements, says ex-Trump adviser MORE (D-Calif.).

Pence was apparently unable to immediately reach Schumer, who was on a plane, the vice president's deputy chief of staff told reporters traveling in Peru.

An aide to the vice president emailed a member of Schumer's staff saying that Pence needed to speak with the senator, according to Pence's team.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerIs there difference between good and bad online election targeting? Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals 30 million users affected by hack | Grassley presses Google to explain data practices | Senators warn Canada against using Chinese telecom firm | FCC responds to net neutrality lawsuits MORE (Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also voiced support on Friday for a "measured" military response in Syria. But he similarly warned in a statement against taking actions that could "further destabilize" the region or expand the conflict.

"While the U.S. and our allies must not turn a blind eye to Assad's vile and inhumane attacks against his own citizens, military action in Syria must be measured, as part of a coherent strategy to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons without further destabilizing an already-volatile region or inadvertently expanding the conflict," he said.