Democratic Senator Urges White House to do More on Syria

Sen. Bob Casey wants the Obama administration to do more in Syria and Iraq.

— -- President Obama’s own party is directing more criticism at him over his handling of the crisis in Syria and neighboring countries.

Casey joins a growing chorus of Democratic lawmakers who say the administration is not treating the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East with the urgency the situation requires.

“I believe the United States should make the protection of Syrian civilians from war crimes and crimes against humanity a higher priority,” Casey wrote.

So far, the administration has said it is also worried about Russia’s escalation there, but its message to Russia has been ambivalent.

“There’s an opportunity for the Russians, if they would like, to constructively contribute to the anti-ISIL coalition… we’d welcome their participation in that regard. But thus far, it’s unclear exactly what Russia’s intentions are,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a briefing Monday.

The humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq has become a rallying cry for many Democrats, who say the White House could be doing more to help.