Obama warned to keep Congress in the loop on Syria policy


Corker said he expected the committee to be "consulted directly before you make any significant changes to the nature and scope of U.S. engagement, including providing lethal assistance to opposition forces and particularly any use of U.S. armed forces."

The letter comes amid reports that U.S. forces are helping Jordanians train rebels who could eventually create a safe zone along the border in southern Syria. In addition, a United Nations expert is poised to enter Syria to investigate claims of chemical weapons use, which Obama has called a “red line” that would spark a U.S. response.

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Democratic demolition derby Juan Williams: Don't count Biden out Candidates in Obama's orbit fail to capitalize on personal ties MORE and former Defense chief Leon Panetta previously recommended the United States arm the rebels. Obama has ruled against that so far out of concern that the weapons could end up in the hands of Islamist militants who could use them against U.S. interests.

Corker said he considered the administration's legal justifications for action in Libya two years ago to be “tenuous at best.” He has also expressed frustration with Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryConsensus forming for ambitious climate goal: Net zero pollution New Hampshire primary turnout is a boost to Democrats New Hampshire only exacerbates Democratic Party agita MORE's recent announcement of $60 million in direct aid to the rebels, telling The Hill that he was “a little disappointed that no heads up was given.”

Corker cautioned the administration that its actions in Syria should be dictated by national security interests.

“The situation in Syria is undoubtedly dire and worsening, and I may ultimately support U.S. involvement in this case. However, our response to this evolving situation must account fully for all of our national security interests, including the risk that U.S. military involvement, limited or otherwise, could trigger escalation that might threaten our regional allies,” he said.