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John McCain Slips In and Out of Syria; Has Talks with Syrian Rebels
The Syrian mess is getting bigger by the day. And maybe it just got bigger with Senator John McCain slipping into Syria, holding talks with the leaders of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army and then returning to Turkey on Monday.
He accompanied Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the FSA. The Daily Beast reported that in an exclusive interview with them, the Syrian rebel leader praised McCain and criticized the Obama administration’s policy on Syria.
Idris said, “The visit of Senator McCain to Syria is very important … we need American help…”
While Obama last week already stressed in a major policy speech that he was seeking an end to the perpetual war on terror, and while Americans continue to wonder whether domestic economy is more important or it is more important to fight wars for or against regimes thousands of miles away, McCain’s visit lends new voice to the opposition in Syria.
Idris said in his interview with The Daily Beast, “What we want from the U.S. government is to take the decision to support the Syrian revolution with weapons and ammunition, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft weapons … Of course we want a no-fly zone and we ask for strategic strikes against Hezbollah both inside Lebanon and inside Syria.”
Dashing all hopes of U.S. foreign policy attempts to bring the opposition council and the Assad regime to have a talk at an international conference in Geneva in early June, Idris said, “We are with Geneva if it means that Bashar will resign and leave the country…”
McCain held meetings with two separate groups of FSA commanders and also with their Civil Revolutionary Council inside Turkey, before slipping into Syria.
Assad’s regime in Syria have always been allied with Hezbollah and known to support anti-U.S. interests. On the other hand, there have been reports of various factions of the Syrian rebels being led by groups linked with terrorist organizations.
Of recent, there have also been claims by rebel forces and independent media reporters of Assad’s forces using chemcal weapons – something that the Obama administration had claimed could make intervention necessary.