Iowa's congressional delegation is steadily drifting toward opposing a military strike in Syria.

Sen. Tom Harkin and Reps. Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley, all Democrats, are all "leaning against" voting for authorizing a strike, according to their offices.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, already has said he's "dubious" about a strike.

In a statement Friday, Harkin said he is "hesitant" to commit to the United States responding without United Nations support.

"I recognize the challenges of taking this matter to the United Nations, but if international norms are being broken, then the international community must respond in concert," he said. "Until our country makes a good faith effort to rally this community, I am, like most Americans, hesitant to commit the United States alone to the task of responding to Syria's civil war."

Harkin's office said he is "leaning against" voting to authorize a strike.

Loebsack staked out his position Thursday, and so did Braley, according to Radio Iowa.

On Friday, Braley's office issued a statement from the congressman saying he's been traveling around Iowa and the state's residents are "extremely reluctant to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East ..."

"Before putting Americans lives at risk and spending millions of taxpayer dollars, we must be confident that American involvement in Syria serves our national security interests and avoids getting the United States involved in an open-ended military commitment," Braley said in his statement.

The congressman has been soliciting input on his House website.

As of Friday morning, there had been 9,000 responses, with 75 percent opposing military involvement, 15 percent in favor and the rest not sure, according to his office.

As for others in the state's delegation, the Des Moines Register reported that Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, said he intended to take part in classified briefings, but absent a clear national security reason, he would not support action.

Earlier this week, the Sioux City Journal reported that Rep. Steve King, a Republican, had been quiet on the issue.

The Omaha World-Herald did report that King said, "it sounds as though the president is determined to kill some Syrians to send the message to Assad to stop killing Syrians."

The administration says a "limited, narrow" attack is needed to degrade Syria's chemical weapons capability, as well as discourage a future attack.

President Barack Obama has said the world needs to act against what has been a decades-long prohibition against the use of chemical weapons.

The stand of Iowa's delegation contrasts with the Illinoisans who represent the Quad-Cities.

Sens. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Mark Kirk, a Republican, have both said they support limited military strikes.

On Thursday, Durbin cited the need to hold Syrian leader Bashar Assad accountable for the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 people.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has not said how she might vote.

In their statements, the Iowa congressmen said although they are hesitant to support a strike, they are horrified by the chemical weapons attacks, as well as by the ongoing toll of Syria's civil war.

(1) comment

longjohn412

No doubt the Ghost of Bush's Lies still haunt the American People .....

Senator Harkin is right though, any strike should have international backing

Syrian support by Russia and Iran is mostly illusion, the Russians will drop Assad like a bad habit if they can get the rebels on their side and there is no love lost between the Shiite Iranians and the mostly Sunni Baathist Syrians under Assad .... It's a 'marriage of convenience' that will end up in divorce once the Syrian Shiites get the upper hand

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