McCain: Rebels feel abandoned by US

2013-09-11 17:45
US Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain listens during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill. (Brendan Smialowski, AFP)

US Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain listens during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill. (Brendan Smialowski, AFP)

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Washington - US Senator John McCain says the cause of rebels fighting Syria's President Bashar Assad has been obscured in the rapid military and diplomatic events following a chemical weapons attack near Damascus.

McCain says, "I feel very badly for my friends in the Free Syrian Army today."

The Republican tells MSNBC he's not against negotiating to defuse the chemical weapons issue.

But he argues, "There's nothing that will drive Syrians more into the hands of extremists than to feel they have been abandoned by the West."

One persistent question about US policy in Syria is to what extent al-Qaeda is involved in the efforts to end Assad's rule.

McCain said President Barack Obama should have acted more forcefully against Assad many months ago.

Read more on:    john mccain  |  syria  |  syria conflict

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