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The latest on the Syria situation.

Durbin, Kirk Weigh In On Air Strikes In Iraq

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  U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk each say they support limited air strikes over Iraq to try to deter the Islamic State terrorist organization. But Durbin's expressing reservations.

President Barack Obama Thursday night authorized air strikes on the terrorist group which has been gaining territory in Iraq.

While Durbin (D-IL) says he is glad the action involves no boots on the ground, he's still cautious about getting involved in the conflict.

"I understand the president's motivations; I don't quarrel with what he's concluded," he said. "I don't believe the American people or I have any appetite for sending more American troops into war in the Middle East."

Separately, Sen. Kirk (R-IL) issued a press release saying that limited air strikes are the right move to weaken the Islamic State and to help religious minorities targeted by the group.

But, he says Obama should also collaborate with Congress to find a long-term solution for the Middle East. The Islamic State has strengthened and grown throughout Iraq and Syria, taking more cities as it advances.

Last summer, Kirk supported air strikes in Syria in response to President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Durbin did not.

It's unclear if U.S. involvement in Syria would have prevented the growth of the Islamic State.

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at outlets including WILL-AM/FM, Law360, The Daily Line and a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax before returning to the station in 2020.
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