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WJBD - Local News - Shimkus Remains Unconvinced on Syrian Intervention

Shimkus Remains Unconvinced on Syrian Intervention

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) is standing on the "No" side of the aisle when it comes to US military intervention in Syria. The congressman from Illinois's 15th district, which includes Marion, Clinton, Clay, Wayne, and Washington counties, said in a press release Tuesday that he is not convinced that US Military Intervention in Syria is warranted. 

Speaking to WJBD on Tuesday, Shimkus said that "Right now, there is no way I would support even a 'limited attack'. I don't think we know what we're doing. A 'Successful limited attack' does what exactly? Does it destabilize the regime? Empower the rebels? Bring Al-Qaeda in? I just think this does more harm than good, and I'm not convinced otherwise."

Shimkus, who supported previous military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, said that he feels a limited strike against Syria would "make matters worse, not better". Shimkus says that the nation's previous experiences, and his previous vote for military intervention in Iraq have made him more cautious.

"I think back, and I was convinced that the Iraqi Campaign was in our national interest and that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destructions that he planned to use in the region, as he did on his own people. This has made me more cautious." Shimkus said.

He says President Barack Obama is appealing to congress to protect his prestige after various international bodies have refused to join in a potential US Strike. 

Shimkus fears that "a strike, although 'limited,' could very well be the spark for the tinder that engages the United States in another drawn out campaign in the Middle East."

He says that until he sees evidence of a real threat against the United States or it's allies, that he does not support any form of strike against Syria.

On August 21st, a series of chemical warfare attacks occurred in the city of Ghouta, Syria. Classified US Intelligence allegedly suggests that the Syrian Government is responsible for the attacks, however the Syrian Government denies any role in the attacks, blaming them on rebel forces.

Shimkus says he believes the Syrian Government is behind the attacks, calling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad "brutal and bloodthirsty, just like his father", although he said he has yet to see the "Classified Intelligence".

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