- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - With airstrikes underway in Syria, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he’s worried about the success of the second half of President Barack Obama’s plan to destroy Islamic State extremists: arming and training Syrian rebels.

Politicians from both parties have expressed concern about arming moderate Syrian rebels. They fear those untrained fighters will focus instead on their long civil war with President Bashar Assad’s government. Nonetheless, Franken says Obama’s strategy was the “best option available.”

The freshman Democrat was among 78 senators who approved the legislation last week.

The U.S. and Arab allies began airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria Monday.

Despite his reservations about arming Syrian rebels, Franken says he remains opposed to sending U.S. troops to the Middle East.

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