Rep. Darrell Issa suggested humanitarian relief and no-fly zones were better options in Syria than a military strike during a telephone town hall Monday for voters in north San Diego country.
Earlier Monday evening Issa held a similar town hall call with voters in south Orange County.
During the one-hour conference call, the Republican congressman fielded questions about Benghazi, Israel and the federal budget sequestration from some two dozen callers. But possible military action in Syria to destroy chemical weapons was the primary focus.
"There's great risk if we go in, and questions about what would be the outcome," Issa said.
One caller stressed the dangers of chemical weapons, adding, "Sometimes you have to make a stand." Issa replied that "doing nothing would be a mistake," but suggested no-fly zones, safe areas for refugees, and humanitarian assistance would be more certain to be productive.
He said it was important to take action to prevent the war in Syria from leading to de-stabilization of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey and possibly threatening Israel.
Issa began the call by explaining that what is happening in Syrian civil war has taken the lives of 40,000 civilians and displaced 6.5 million people. He said the purpose of the call was to "help me understand what guidance I should give to the President"
Several callers asked how the United States could be sure it was backing the right side in Syria. "That seems to be the trickiest thing," Issa said.