Sen. McCain: Doing Nothing in Syria Not an Option

Saturday, 24 Aug 2013 05:45 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Doing nothing in Syria is not an option, Sen. John McCain warns.

The Republican senator from Arizona told The Hill delays in military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime essentially gives it a "green light" for continued attacks in the war-torn country.

"When we do nothing, not only do they have a green light, but this gives a green light to brutal dictators all over the world they can do the same thing," McCain said.

On Saturday, President Obama was expected to discuss military options in the deepening crisis with his national security team.

But McCain worries that it is already too late to stop Assad from using chemical weapons, The Hill reported, quoting the senator's remarks on CNN.

"We know he's already done that and there has been absolute proof he's already done that," McCain said of chemical weapons. "So it should have surprised no one if he does it again in far greater impact.

"He will do it again because we have given him, instead of a red line, we've given him a green light and to do that and many other atrocities committed."

News that more than 1,300 people may have been killed in a possible chemical attack this week has damaged America's reputation in the region and world, McCain claims.

"Our friends and enemies alike, both in the Middle East and across the world, are questioning whether America has the will and the capacity to do what it says," McCain said in a statement.
Obama has previously said a chemical attack by Assad's forces would be like crossing a "red line" to trigger a military response.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday said a speedy response may be needed to thwart another strike if claims of Syria's use of chemical weapons prove true, CNN reported.

A U.N. team is attempting to investigate the claim by Syrian rebels.

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