US Republican Senator John McCain said he supports the internal memo signed by over 50 US State Department officials who sharply criticized the Obama administration’s policies in Syria and called for launching airstrikes against Assad.
McCain, who was speaking to Christiane Amanpour on CNN on Wednesday, described the memo as “unprecedented” and “impactful,” as it was signed by “professionals that articulate the views of respected people like former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, a widely respected individual.”
“It is not ISIS that has barrel bombed thousands of innocent men, women and children. It is not ISIS that used chemical weapons to kill thousands of innocent men, women and children,” McCain said.
“You [Amanpour] know the atrocities that have been committed by Bashar al-Assad,” he said, arguing that the US did not attempt in any way to end Assad’s atrocities, nor did it try to “impede this unholy alliance between Iran Syria and Russia.”
“As you know then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense [Leon] Panetta and then CIA Director David Petraeus back in 2011 called for arming and training the Free Syrian Army to reverse what was happening, President Obama turned that down.”
McCain added: “Al Qaeda in Iraq moved to Syria and morphed into ISIS and we are seeing results of that failure because Obama then removed all troops from Iraq leaving a destabilized situation which we predicted.”
McCain blamed the Obama administration for the worst refugee crisis since World War II as well as for the attacks in the United States and in Europe. “All of these did not happen by accident. They were caused by Barack Obama’s policies and failure to act even over the objection and recommendation of some very talented and knowledgeable people, and I am speaking of Petraeus, Hillary Clinton and of course Leon Panetta.”
More than 50 State Department diplomats in mid-June signed an internal memo sharply critical of the Obama administration’s policy in Syria, urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the Assad regime to stop its persistent violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement.
The memo said that American policy in Syria has been “overwhelmed” by the unrelenting violence, calling for “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed US-led diplomatic process.”
The Syrian Coalition has repeatedly called on the US-led international coalition not to limit airstrikes to the ISIS extremist group but to launch airstrikes against the Assad regime which is the root cause of the problem and the real source of terrorism.
The Syrian Coalition pointed out that the international community’s ignoring of the Assad regime is inconsistent with an effective strategy to fight terrorism, adding that limiting airstrikes to the ISIS group further fuels terrorism in Syria and the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)