March 22, 2012 - 4:55 pm

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

As violence and calls for intervention in Syria escalate, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., has introduced a bill that would require President Barack Obama to issue a report to Congress on all know opposition groups.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would also require an assessment on the size and security of conventional and non-conventional weapons stockpiles in Syria and the types and sources of weapons flowing to opposition forces.

“I have repeatedly warned against precipitant action in Syria without taking into account all the ramifications,” said Webb, an independent-minded Democrat who is not seeking re-election this year.

“We need analytical metrics before we debate providing assistance, military or otherwise, in what United Nations officials have recently characterized as a civil war. Detailed reports on the situation in Syria are sorely lacking at the very time we need such information in order to make informed decisions about U.S. policy,” he added.

In defiance of a call by the U.N. Security Council a cease-fire to allow negotiations and humanitarian aid, violent clashes erupted across the country Thursday. The Obama administration has called on President Bashar Assad to step down, but has said military intervention is not an option.  

Webb was critical of Obama’s handling of U.S. involvement in Libya, filing a resolution that said the administration had “failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States national security interests” for involvement.