METHUEN (CBS) — With the Obama administration considering military intervention in Syria after an apparent chemical weapons attack outside Damascus, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., is urging caution.

“It is a moral outrage if Syria did use chemical weapons against its own people but anything the United States does to protect those citizens has to ensure that we’re not deploying American troops on the ground in Syria,” the member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee told WBZ News during an interview Monday afternoon in Methuen. “That would be a mistake.”

Syrian rebels claim troops loyal to President Bashar Assad launched a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus last week. The rebels say hundreds of civilians were killed in the attack. Videos posted on social media from Syria show scores of dead and injured civilians.

The Assad regime denies it used chemical weapons.

On Monday, U.N. weapons inspectors tried to visit the area where the alleged attack occurred.

While taking a hard line against the use of chemical weapons on civilian targets, Markey said any U.S. military response must be limited in scope.

“We have to condemn the use of chemical weapons,” the Massachusetts Democrat said, “”make sure it doesn’t happen again but also make sure we don’t have American troops on the ground in that country.”


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