Quad-Cities area lawmakers, after new briefing and hearings, continued on Tuesday to be skeptical about attacking Syria.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. described evidence presented in a classified briefing that President Barack Obama hopes will convince lawmakers to support military action against Syria as "circumstantial"and urged the government not to rush into war.
"I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered," a statement from Sen. Harkin said. "I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial."
Sen. Harkin said he wanted to wait for results from a United Nations inspections team that's investigated the use of chemical weapons in Syria before taking any action.
"What I hear from Iowans is that the Middle East has a complex history and the conflicts there will not be solved by U.S. military action alone." he said. "We should not rush into what may become a new open-ended war without broad international backing or a full understanding of the ramifications."
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Il., has yet to make clear if he would support military action against Syria.
Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday during a briefing by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Sen. Durbin said that any language authorizing military force must be precise.
"I hope that we can have your word and assurance that we can work together in a bipartisan fashion to craft this language in a way that carefully achieves our goal but that does not expand authority anywhere beyond what is necessary," he said.
The rapidly evolving debate was sparked by the alleged use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people by the Assad regime.President Obama said last year that use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would cross a "red line."
Mr. Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence proved "beyond any reasonable doubt" that the Assad regime was behind a chemical weapons attack last month.
Many in Congress remain unconvinced of the benefits of a bombing campaign against the Syrian government, which has been locked in a civil war since 2011.
"I have a lot of serious reservations about an attack on Syria by the United States under the circumstances that we now find ourselves in," Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Mount Vernon, said on Monday.
Rep. Loebsack said it was up to President Obama needed to show how it served America's national interests to attack Syria.
Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, said the goal of any intervention in Syria would only be to deter the future use of chemical weapons and is opposed to putting any U.S. personnel on the ground in Syria.
After listening to a briefing by senior administration officials, Rep. Bustos said she still had a "ton of questions" including seeking answers to the impact of a missile strike against Syrian military installations.
"I've heard these missiles are very precise," she said. "Are they going to hit exactly what we want them to hit?"
Rep. Bustos said it was important the U.S. only act in Syria if it has broad international support.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.