Obama's military request in Syria too broad, Schiff says

As Republican and Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives have jumped on board to support President Barack Obama's request for military strikes in Syria, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said Monday that he is concerned that international support for strikes is weak and urged the White House to rein in its proposed bill for military action.

"The White House has put forward a proposed bill authorizing the use of force that, as drafted, is far too broad and open ended, and could be used to justify everything from a limited cruise missile strike to a no-fly zone and the introduction of American ground troops. As drafted, I will not support it," Schiff said in a statement. "Having introduced a bill in Congress to sunset the existing authorization to use military force in one conflict, I am loathe to support another unless it were very narrowly drawn."

Obama is seeking support from Congress for proposed military strikes that would be limited in scope as a response to chemical weapons attacks that a report released by the intelligence community on Friday said was directed by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

As civil war has rocked Syria, U.S. officials have been rooting for Assad's downfall and the Obama administration has provided weapons to Syrian rebels, which Schiff opposed.

But Schiff, a senior member of the House's Intelligence Committee,  said he agreed with Obama that Assad must be held accountable for using chemical weapons, and if he is not, he--and other countries -- may be encouraged to use chemical weapons again.

"I also believe that, as it is an international norm that is being violated, it is vital that the international community hold Assad accountable and that it should not be the United States acting alone," he said.

The British Parliament voted on Thursday against taking military action in Syria, while French President Francois Hollande supported air strikes.

"After Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public is weary of war, and I share that weariness," Schiff said.

-- Brittany Levine,

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.