John Gregory -- Illinois Radio Network

What will be the final result of an increased U.S. military presence do in Syria? U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin isn’t quite sure.

Durbin says he’s willing to support President Obama’s decision to deploy special operations troops to advise fighters against Islamic State militants, but doesn’t have an answer for what the U.S. strategy should be to end the country’s civil war.

“I think most people would say the same thing,” Durbin said. “It is such an unholy mess: a four-year war, four million people displaced.”

What Durbin does have thoughts about is what the U.S. shouldn’t do, as he fears what would happen by completely deposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Even though he calls Assad “bloodthirsty and a killer,” he’s also concerned about the aftermath of the Syrian war mirroring what has happened in Iraq.

“Haven’t we learned the hard way that these authoritarian figures, as much as we hate them, end up holding together countries that fall apart as soon as they’re gone?” Durbin said. “It’s a tough choice for America to make, but I want stability and I want those poor people to no longer have to worry about barrel bombs and being deported and becoming refugees. This war has to end.”

Durbin says he’s willing to allow Assad to remain in power temporarily as part of a transition to a new government.

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