Arizona senator John McCain declared on the Senate floor Monday that the U.S. must take action and intervene in Syria. Specifically, McCain called for U.S. led airstrikes on the military forces led by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
“The time has come for a new policy,” McCain said. “The United States should lead an international effort to protect key population centres in Syria, especially in the north, through airstrikes on Assad’s forces… Assad needs to know he will not win.”
Already, the prospect of U.N. action has been discounted after both Russia and China voted against a Security Council resolution on Syria. Meanwhile, President Obama said he is committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict. But McCain said that the U.S. should instead look to Arab partners like Saudi Arabia for military assistance with the end goal of providing support to the Syrian rebel fighters.
McCain, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Service Committee, has been building up his support of military action in Syria in recent weeks.
In early February, McCain said that the U.S. should consider arming Syrian opposition forces, though he cautioned that certain military options may not be viable. Then later in the month, McCain joined South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham to pen a proposal for military and humanitarian aid to the country.
McCain was also one of the first voices to support military action in Libya. Ultimately, NATO forces intervened in Libya aiding in the collapse of the regime of Muammar Qaddafi.
Here’s an excerpt of McCain’s speech on the Senate floor:
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