McCain wants US to help Syria rebels

2012-06-17 22:22
Sen John McCain, R-Ariz listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin, AP File)

Sen John McCain, R-Ariz listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin, AP File) (Jacquelyn Martin)

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Washington - Senator John McCain says the lack of US aid to Syrian rebels is "shameful," and that helping the opposition would be the biggest blow to Iran in 25 years.

The US has refused to arm Syrian rebels in part to avoid a proxy fight with Iran and Russia, which back the Syrian government. The crisis in Syria is likely to come up when President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Mexico on Monday.

McCain, Obama's Republican rival in the 2008 elections, tells NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that members of the Syrian opposition are being "killed and massacred and tortured and raped" and "the fact that Americans aren't helping them is shameful".

Syrian activists say the rebel-held areas in Homs have been under attack for a week.

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