Sen. Chris Murphy warns Syria strike could drag U.S. into long conflict

Sen. Chris Murphy said Friday he is worried that the Syria resolution making its way through the Senate could drag the United States into a broader conflict that could last a decade.

Mr. Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, warned that the resolution — which authorizes a limited strike against the Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons as well as support for rebel forces fighting there — could make the situation on the ground “worse, not better.”

“If Assad responds with more ferocious strikes against his own people or against our allies in the region, it is hard to understand how that makes the situation better,” Mr. Murphy said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” adding that he worries about counter strikes against Israel and other allies in the region.

“It also commits us to a long-term lethal arming of the rebels, and I just don’t understand how this doesn’t turn into a long-term civil war even after Assad falls. I just don’t think the United States is pretty good at trying to pull the political strings in the Middle East. It is I think something we should’ve learned over the past ten years,” he said.

Mr. Murphy voted against the resolution, which narrowly passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week on a 10-7 vote.

Mr. Obama has recently called Mr. Murphy in an attempt to assure him that the strikes will not turn into a wider conflict.

Mr. Murphy said Friday the decision of whether to strike the Assad regime to punish it for the use of is a “certainly a close call.”

“But at the end, I worry this could actually degrade the situation on the ground and commit the United States to an engagement that could last a decade,” he said.

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