Tags: mccain | obama | syrian | rebels

McCain: Obama Should Have Acknowledged Syrian Rebel Fighters

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 11:20 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Sen. John McCain expressed disappointment Wednesday at President Barack Obama's failure to acknowledge a U.S.-backed rebel group in his address to the nation on the Syrian conflict, saying the rebels must feel like "they're being abandoned."

"I was very disappointed the president did not mention the Free Syrian Army and our moral and material assistance for them, which is required. I think they do feel they're being abandoned," McCain said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Story continues below video.

"I feel very badly for my friends in the Free Syrian Army today," the Arizona Republican said.

McCain said he fears that a lack of support for legitimate rebel forces fighting against the oppressive regime of President Bashar Assad eventually will play into the hands of Islamic extremists.

"There is nothing that would drive Syrians more into the hands of the extremists than to feel that they have been abandoned by the West. And that impression, I am sure, has been made on them today," he said.

Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here

McCain suggested that the U.S. immediately present a resolution to the United Nations calling for the oversight of Syria's chemical weapons, rather than send Secretary of State John Kerry to Geneva to negotiate the issue with his Russian counterpart Sergey V. Lavrov.

"Why don't we introduce a resolution with the British and the French today in the U.N. Security Council, that the Russians should vote for, that calls for immediate inspectors, immediate locations of these chemical weapons caches, and bringing them under international control?" McCain asked.

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