Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) strongly condemned the Obama administration’s handling of the Syrian crisis and said that the U.S. is not doing enough to help rebels defeat President Bashar al-Assad, adding that the U.S. should be providing the rebels with weapons to hasten his defeat.
“My question to the Secretary of State and the President of the United States is how many more have to die before we take action to help these people with other nations, and I don’t mean American boots on the ground. It is shameful; the total lack of leadership that the United States has displayed for the last 14 months,” McCain told CBS News.
“We should get arms to them so that we can balance the forces. It is not a fair fight. Russian arms are pouring, Iranians are on the ground and people are being massacred, tortured, raped and murdered as a matter of policy by Bashar al-Assad,” said McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaking on the program “Face the Nation.”
McCain’s comments come one day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “the sand is running out of the hourglass” for the Assad regime.
“So the future, to me, should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime: The days are numbered; and the sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there’s a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region,” Clinton said in Japan.
McCain continued to state that the Syrian people “are not, have not been taken over by extremists or al Qaeda, but they could be if this conflict drags on for months and even years."
"I am confident that if we overthrow Bashar al-Assad the people of Syria will do exactly what the Libyan people did yesterday and that is vote for a democratic and freely-elected government," he added.