News / USA

US Senators Call for Increased Military Pressure on Syrian Government

A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon in Raqqa province, east Syria, May 6, 2013. A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon in Raqqa province, east Syria, May 6, 2013.
x
A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon in Raqqa province, east Syria, May 6, 2013.
A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon in Raqqa province, east Syria, May 6, 2013.
Meredith Buel
Members of the U.S. Congress are calling on the Obama administration to put additional military pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an effort to end the country’s civil war.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is calling for President Barack Obama to arm the rebels in Syria.

Michigan Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, says the U.S. needs to do more in Syria to change the situation on the ground.

“It is essential, Mr. President, that the United States, working with our allies in the region, step up the military pressure on the Assad regime.  Of course doing so in a carefully thought out and regionally supported way,” Levin said.

Arizona Senator John McCain says the strategic and humanitarian costs of the Syrian conflict are devastating both for the Syrian people and American interests.

McCain says the U.S. military should train and arm Syrian opposition forces and use precision strike capabilities to target the government’s aircraft and SCUD missile launchers.

“We have the capacity to significantly weaken both the Assad regime's airpower and its increasing use of ballistic missiles, which pose significant risks as delivery vehicles for chemical weapons,” McCain said.

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, says the U.S. should arm the Syrian rebels with shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles.

“Under the present set of circumstances, Assad believes that he is winning and for so long as he believes he is winning he will continue the course that he is on.  There has to be a change in the tipping point here,” Menendez said.

The Obama administration has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid, but has been reluctant to provide weapons to the rebels because of concern they could fall into the hands of militants.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says President Assad cannot be part of a transitional government that could lead the country out of civil war.

Kerry spoke in Rome during a joint news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

"The foreign minister will work with us, as they have, to try to bring all the parties to the table so that we can effect a transition government by mutual consent of both sides, which clearly means that, in our judgment, President Assad will not be a component of that transitional government,'' Kerry said.

Secretary Kerry also urged Russia not to sell an advanced air defense system to Syria.

He said such a move would be destabilizing for Israel, a key U.S. ally in the region.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid