Sen. John McCain has warned that President Barack Obama could face impeachment if he put “boots on the ground” in Syria.
"No one wants American boots on the ground," the Arizona Republican told Phoenix CBS affiliate KFYI-TV
on Thursday. "Nor will there be American boots on the ground because there would be an impeachment of the president if they did that.
"The fact is [Syrian President] Bashar Assad has massacred 100,000 people," McCain added. "The conflict is spreading … The Russians are all in, the Iranians are all in — and it’s an unfair fight."
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McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential candidate, made his remarks after a town hall meeting with about 150 Phoenix residents that focused on Syria.
“The president has bungled this beyond belief,” he said, referring to Obama's handling of the Syrian situation. "Announced that he’s going to strike and then say, ‘No, I’m going to the American Congress.’ I can’t believe how badly he’s mishandled this issue.”
He reiterated that the U.S. would not send troops to Syria in response to Assad's Aug. 21 chemical weapons attacks on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus.
The White House has said that more than 1,400 people, including more than 400 children, died in the assaults.
"I am unalterably opposed to having a single American boot on the ground in Syria,” McCain said. “The American people wouldn’t stand for it.
“Second of all, it would not be anything but counterproductive to do that," he added. "American blood and treasure is too precious to do that.”
He told KFYI after the session that he understood American's skittishness about a Syrian strike.
“They are largely against any action in Syria — and I understand their skepticism,” McCain said.
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