McCain, Graham: Syria a 'Regional Conflict'

Image: McCain, Graham: Syria a 'Regional Conflict'

Monday, 02 Sep 2013 05:50 PM

By Todd Beamon

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said on Monday that the Syrian situation was a regional conflict — and President Bashar al-Assad warned that his country would retaliate if France participated in any military strike on his forces.

"This is a regional conflict," McCain said outside the White House after he and Graham met with President Barack Obama. "This is not a conflict that is just confined to Syria.

"Lebanon is destabilized," the Arizona senator added. "Jordan is badly destabilized. Iraq has turned into a breeding place for al-Qaida and Islamic extremists.

"We have to understand that, not only is there the threat of this conflict spreading, but there's the Iranian issue — with their pursuit of nuclear weapons — that would be directly affected by our actions in Syria."

McCain and Graham, of South Carolina, met with Obama as the White House stepped up its efforts to seek Congressional support for a military strike against Assad for his use of chemical weapons in the civil war that has lasted more than two years.

Both senators sit on the Armed Services Committee.

Obama and French President Francois Hollande have said that they have proof that Assad's forces used sarin gas in attacks on the rebel-held suburbs of Damascus on Aug. 21. More than 1,400 people were killed, the White House said, many of them children.

The Syrian government denies the allegations, blaming opposition fighters.

"If the policies of the French state are hostile to the Syrian people, the state will be their enemy," Assad told the French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview published on Monday. "There will be repercussions, negative ones obviously, on French interests.

"Those who make accusations must show evidence," Assad added. "We have challenged the United States and France to come up with a single piece of proof. Obama and Hollande have been incapable of doing so."

France has backed the Syrian rebels since the civil war began. It fears that the violence may spill into Lebanon, where about 20,000 French citizens live, many French companies operate and where France has an 800-strong contingent of U.N. peacekeepers.

And on Monday, senior members of Hollande's ruling party rebuffed opposition calls for a parliamentary vote to approve any attack.

"This act cannot be left without a response," French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said. "It's not for France to act alone. The president is continuing his work of persuasion to bring together a coalition."

Meanwhile, Graham said of the session with Obama: "There seems to be emerging from this administration a pretty solid plan to upgrade the opposition, to get the regional players more involved.

"Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan — a lot of the Gulf Arab states — have been helping quietly," he added. "Now is the time to get out front and be more overt.

"When it comes to financing these operations, the people in the region need to carry the lion's share of the financial cost," Graham said.



Reuters contributed to this report.


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Report: NKorea Sent Commandos to Attack US Nuclear Plants in 1990s

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 23:34 PM

Five covert commando teams were sent to the United States by North Korea in the 1990s to attack nuclear power plants and . . .

Poynter Gives Rolling Stone Rape Story 'Error of the Year' Award

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 23:25 PM

The Poynter Institute has tagged Rolling Stone's article about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia, a story th . . .

Michael Reagan: A Threat to Hollywood Launched Dad's Political Career

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 23:13 PM

Kim Jong-un isn't the only strongman to threaten Hollywood and win. He isn't even the most recent.
A new biography . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved