PHOENIX - U.S. Sen. John McCain faced a tough crowd largely opposed to military action in Syria during a town hall meeting Thursday in Phoenix.
The Republican senator repeatedly told about 150 constituents at the morning meeting that there would be no plans to send U.S. troops.
"I want to begin by saying to you I am unalterably opposed to having a single American boot on the ground in Syria," McCain said. "The American people wouldn't stand for it.
"Second of all, it would not be anything but counterproductive to do that. American blood and treasure is too precious to do that."
While McCain had planned to talk about immigration and other issues at the gathering at a public library, Syria dominated the conversation. The senator was interrupted from the start by someone shouting that his response wasn't good enough.
A few held up signs from their seats with messages such as "Don't bomb Syria" and "Security thru peace."
McCain told the audience the American public soon would see irrefutable evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad was behind a deadly chemical weapons attack.
"If we open the door to the use of chemical weapons and let it go unresponded to, then I think that sends a signal to other people that want to use them, that they can do so with impunity," McCain said.
The town hall meeting was one of two planned for Thursday, with the other taking place in Tucson. McCain also is holding a town hall Friday in Prescott.
The gatherings come as President Barack Obama is requesting speedy congressional backing of a military strike in Syria to retaliate for an alleged chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21.
The Obama administration blames Assad for the attack in a rebel-held suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus. Obama says more than 1,400 civilians died, including at least 400 children. Other casualty estimates are lower, however, and the Syrian government denies responsibility, contending rebels fighting to topple the government are to blame.
Despite widespread condemnation from allies of the alleged sarin-gas attack, few countries are likely to join the U.S. in undertaking military action if Obama moves forward with a strike.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
INSIDE: View our list of events happening this week around the Valley.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
So much for that sore right elbow. Carson Palmer didn't throw a pass in practice all last week, then completed practically every one he tried Sunday.
The Newlyweds are accused of luring the man through a "companionship" ad on Craigslist, and stabbing and strangling him to death.
Dozens of entries with hundreds of thousands of lights brightened the streets of Phoenix Saturday when the APS Fiesta of Light Electric Light Parade returned for the 27th straight year.
Police are investigating after a man was shot at a mobile home park in Phoenix Sunday afternoon.
The weather forecast is looking nice and cool as we start the work week. Warmer afternoon highs on the way by Wednesday.
The shooting happened around 2 a.m. at an apartment complex near the Loop 101 and University Drive, said Sgt. Michael Pooley of the Tempe Police Department.