U.S. Sen. John McCain plans town hall meetings in Phoenix and Tucson Thursday to discuss potential military action in Syria.

The Republican senator will meet constituents in Phoenix at 10 a.m. at the Burton Barr Library. Tucson's meeting will be at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Interagency Fire Center, 2646 E. Commerce Center Way, near Tucson International Airport.

The gatherings come as President Barack Obama is requesting speedy congressional backing of a military strike in Syria to retaliate for a deadly chemical weapons attack.

The Obama administration blames Syrian President Bashar Assad for the chemical weapons attack that occurred on Aug. 21. 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.

McCain's office said he also will discuss immigration reform and other issues affecting the state.