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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora