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 SchumerHouse Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans Rep. Massie threatens to block next relief bill, calls for remote voting Democratic senators call for funding for local media in coronavirus stimulus MORE (D-N.Y.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos 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 McConnellMcConnell to try to pass small business funds Thursday, warns against holding it 'hostage' Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrip that led to acting Navy secretary's resignation cost 3K: reports Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans 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 WarnerSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Democratic senator rips Navy head's 'completely inappropriate' speech on ousted carrier captain Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog 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.