News

McCain Presses for Arming Syrian Rebels

US Senators John McCain (R-AZ) (L) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) (2nd L) are greeted by Syrian refugee children during their visit at Yayladagi refugee camp in Hatay province on the Turkish-Syrian border, April 10, 2012.
US Senators John McCain (R-AZ) (L) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) (2nd L) are greeted by Syrian refugee children during their visit at Yayladagi refugee camp in Hatay province on the Turkish-Syrian border, April 10, 2012.
Michael Bowman

A high-ranking U.S. senator is again calling for arming Syrian rebels as part of a more robust effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Republican Senator John McCain spoke on U.S. television as an advance team of unarmed U.N. observers was due to arrive in Syria.

Senator McCain says America’s response to continued bloodletting in Syria is inadequate and shameful.

“For the United States to sit by and watch this wanton massacre is a betrayal of everything we stand for and believe in,” he said.

The Arizona lawmaker recently met in Turkey with senior officers of the opposition Free Syrian Army, which has been pleading for foreign military assistance. Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation program, McCain said the United States should answer the call.

“Over there, they [Syrian rebels] are waiting for American leadership," said McCain. "We have announced that we are now providing them with non-lethal equipment. That does not do very well against tanks and artillery. We need to get a sanctuary for the Free Syrian Army; we need to get them supplies; we need to get them weapons. And there are many ways to get weapons to them. We showed that in Libya, we showed that in Afghanistan [in the 1980s].”

The Obama administration says it supports providing humanitarian relief to the Syrian people, and has backed U.N.-led efforts to halt fighting and begin negotiations between the Syrian government and its opponents. But McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, notes that Syrian rebels are outgunned and that, as he put it, “It is not a fair fight.”

McCain also blasted Russia and China for blocking stronger U.N. Security Council measures to quell bloodshed and speed a transition in Syria, and said a U.N.-Arab League peace plan is inadequate because it does not specify Bashar al-Assad’s removal from power.

Russia and China on Saturday joined the rest of the council members in voting to send an advance team of unarmed observers to Syria to monitor a fragile cease-fire between the government and armed opposition forces.

Photo Gallery

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.
This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs