CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk said Monday the latest developments in Libya have the U.S. in a shooting war with Moammar Gadhafi – one that hopefully ends his regime.
Republican Kirk believes defining the mission will help protect civilians from those loyal to the longtime dictator. But to do that, the junior senator says, Libyan aircraft and armor need to be stopped so that rebel factions can stay afloat.
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In addition, he believes it would be a good idea if President Obama returns from Latin America and makes a statement from the Oval office.
“He’s just taken us to war, and a presidential address from the Oval Office is necessary to outline the mission, how he expects to achieve it, and who is in charge,” Kirk told reporters.
The war so far has been waged from fighter jets high above Libya and from warships far out in the Mediterranean.
The mission, according to a United Nations mandate, is to prevent attacks on civilians by the Libyan military. The latest missile strikes, at least a dozen of them, took out planes and tanks that were targeting rebel forces.
The state’s senior senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, said he supports “limited, international action” in Libya to counter Qaddafi’s tactics.
“I also agree with President Obama; no US ground forces should be used in this operation and it must remain limited in scope and duration,” he said in a written statement.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago urged caution on U.S. involvement in Libya but did not criticize Obama’s actions.