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U.S. airstrikes in Syria have some Illinois veterans concerned

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) -- American military aggression in the Middle East has some Illinois veterans concerned. 

The United States launched military strikes against Syria Friday night. The targets were chemical weapons facilities and other buildings associated with them. 

It's in response to a deadly chemical attack there last week, which killed at least 40 people.

Some people think this means we may go to war. They say it's like deja vu from when the U.S. invaded Iraq when President George W. Bush was in office.

They're worried we might get sucked into another costly war: one with Russia on the other side.

"We're going to get us into a war, and if we get into war with Russia, we're going to have a hell of a war."

Earl McClintock is no stranger to war. He joined the Marine Corp in 1950, and served four years. More than a year of his service was spent in Korea.

"Six months of that was in a combat area. I have some experience with fighting the enemy."

He believes World War II was the last war that was justified, when three Axis powers were trying to take over the world.

"Korea was a civil war, Vietnam was a civil war, and that's what we've got going on in Syria, it's a civil war. Let them solve their own problems."

McClintock says the U.S. should intervene only if there's undeniable proof that assad used chemical weapons.

"There are probably no questions that people were gassed." He questions if Syria's President Bashar al-Assad was behind the attacks, or if he was framed.
This week, the trump administration said they were confident the regime was behind them. Britain and France agreed.

Russia is responding with a social media bot surge to try to stir doubts here in the U.S.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley accused Russia of repeatedly doing nothing to stop Syria from using chemical weapons on civilians.

"Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and cover ups. Russia was supposed to guarantee that Assad wouldn’t use chemical weapons, and Russia did just the opposite."

Syria has denied using chemical weapons. The Kremlin accused Britain of staging it.

It has two of the most powerful countries in the world on the brink of war, something veterans like McClintock feel the U.S. should avoid.

"We're butting into another country's business, that's what's frustrating to me. We need to leave the world alone, take care of ourselves."

President Trump says the strikes will continue until the Syrian regime ends its use of chemical weapons. He also openly condemned Russia and Iran for backing Syria.

President Trump's decision to launch targeted airstrikes in Syria drew mixed reactions from congress. Senator Dick Durbin questioned the limits of president trump's war powers without permission from congress.

Senator Tammy Duckworth says, “the world cannot turn a blind eye to the assad regime’s repeated use of illegal chemical weapons against their own people."

Both senators want congress to step in and debate the use of military force overseas. 

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