Sen. Mark Kirk said Monday the United States should launch a cruise missile strike at the Syrian unit responsible for using chemical weapons on civilians there.

Kirk, R-Ill., who was in the Quad-Cities to meet with representatives and to visit the Rock Island Arsenal, said the gassing of civilians should be met with swift action.

"My hope is to find the military unit that possibly was involved and hit their headquarters to cause a direct price for gassing civilians," he said. "I think there needs to be consequences."

He likened a strike to the 1998 attack on Iraq, which was aimed at curbing its weapons of mass destruction.

Kirk rejected any extended U.S. military involvement in Syria, however. He said that he opposed any "boots on the ground" and that a Naval strike would prevent any exposure by U.S. air crews.

"A proportional response with cruise missiles would, I think, be a better way to go," he said.

Kirk said the strike would embolden the rebels, and he expressed his belief Syria's leader, Bashar Assad, would be deposed.

"He's probably going to go the way of (Moammar) Gadhafi," the Libyan leader who was deposed and killed, Kirk said.

The pressure on the Obama administration to retaliate for the chemical strike has been building. On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the evidence of chemical weapons use was "undeniable" and a "moral obscenity."

Kirk has been an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve since 1989. He was in the Quad-Cities on Monday for the first time since suffering a stroke last year.

He met privately with local employers, visited Lock and Dam 15, then toured the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center at the Arsenal. He also met with reporters.

At the Arsenal, he was accompanied by Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce CEO Tara Barney and East Moline Mayor John Thodos.

Kirk, who was in a wheelchair during the news conference, emphasized his support for a defense spending bill authored by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that assists the Arsenal, including $150 million for the military account that funds the JMTC, as well as other activities across the country.

Area officials also met with him about seeking help to boost public-private partnerships on the island.

While members of different parties, Kirk said he and Durbin are in step in supporting the Arsenal.

As for his first trip to the area since 2011, Kirk said he's been happy to spend August on the road.

"I've got 12 million bosses in the state," he said.

(12) comments

4America

We (the politicians) call the Syrian leaders out for using chemical weapons on their own people. Yes, it is a cowardly act by cowardly people. But, if the Nitwits in D.C, ( and I don't care if they are Re PUKE licans or DUMB ocrats) how many people are our bombs or missiles going to kill. And like chemical weapons, they don't pick and chose who they are going to kill, or MAIM! Send our politicians over there instead, let them show their true colors -YELLOW.

Comment deleted.
Simple-Minded

You make good points. People may take you more serious if you can control rants and swearing. By calling Republicans uneducated, you make one assume that you are educated. Then it should be no problem for you to act like it.

Simple-Minded

We need to roll-up the gate on the United States, and bring our men and women home. None of our business. Let God punish them that that violate His laws. We are a Country that came here to mind our own business and focus on our ideals and beliefs. We did not come to America to control the World. Republican of Democrat has nothing to do with it. We are all Americans. Reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance, read your Bible, and greet your neighbor. The rest will unfold as it may. There is zero faith in God today.

Betttaxpayer

Simple-minded. In general I agree with your comments but be careful what you wish for. Bringing our men and women home means we'll have very little need for a large standing Army and therefore very little need to keep the Arsenal running at full capacity. Notice that the Senator and almost everyone else in the National Command structure are saying "no boots on the ground" in Syria or anyplace else for that matter. "No boots on the ground" means fewer items to repair at the JTMC, fewer rounds of ammunition to buy at the JMC and fewer bases to support by ASC. Peace is not kind to Arsenals.

Comment deleted.
PainfullTruth

@longjohn,

Check out the Washington Post. They are reporting "After Syria chemical allegations, Obama considering limited military strike".

So.... Do you still support your "anti military" stance now that your messiah is thinking about doing it? I'm sure since it is a Democrat doing it you are okay with it, right?

Comment deleted.
PainfullTruth

This coming from the party of "I voted against it before I voted for it" and "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" or "What difference does it matter anyway". I guess when you have Democrats showing photos of their anatomy then YOU would know the average size of their package. It does concern me that you are interested in that sort of thing though.

Thanks for the laugh!

I love how you post "most republicans". Where is your proof (show actual numbers) on your calculation of "most". That would imply that more were against than for. So jump back on the short bus and attend third grade and show your homework....

We are waiting......

longjohn412

MediaCom Poll

Should the US intervene in Syria's civil war?

Unsure - 8%

Yes - 12%

NO - 80%

There is your answer War Monger Republicans ...,..

KAQ

Send them aid if need be but why in the should we sacrifice any more of our sons and daughters? Once we have these countries talk about how much they hate us.

They want our money and help then we're trash in their eyes.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.