Tags: vallely | mccain | syria | visit

Gen. Vallely: McCain Met With Wrong People in Syria

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 06:34 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Sen. John McCain's secretly meeting with leaders of Syria's opposition forces was well meaning, but with the wrong people, retired Army Gen. Paul Vallely says.

"The people there weren't the people that he should be meeting with in toto," Vallely told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"They were the commanders of the Free Syrian Army that I met with and he's actually meeting with another group who has very little influence over there … the Free Syrian delegation.

"So he's not really getting down to the people that I would have liked to have visited, which were the commanders on the ground that are fighting the battle every day."

But Vallely said the trip was not in vain.

"It was good that he went over and at least tried to meet someone that we can't count on our Secretary of State or the State Department to do," said Vallely, now chairman of Stand Up America.

"Certainly they haven't called any senior military to go over there and discuss possible support for the Free Syrian Army."

Vallely said that after his last visit he prepared a report recommending that the United States not have troops on the ground in Syria but provide medical equipment and certain amounts of ammunition that could take down the Assad aircraft.

"[That aircraft] has been bombing and maiming the people of Syria. So here it is, 10 months later, and [McCain is] going over determining the same thing. It seems we're always too late, coming after the fact on many of these international issues and leading from behind a little bit."

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