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Monday, May 27, 2013

McCain meets rebels in Syria

Sen. John McCain, one of the Senate’s loudest voices for further intervention in Syria, snuck into the country and met with rebel leaders Monday, his office confirmed to POLITICO.

The Arizona Republican made the trip from Turkey into Syria alongside Gen. Salam Idris, according to The Daily Beast, which first reported McCain’s visit. Idris leads the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army and accompanied McCain as they met with rebel leaders from throughout the country.

McCain’s office provided no details beyond confirming the trip.

The anti-government rebels have asked the United States to provide the opposition with heavier weaponry, a no-fly zone and airstrikes on both Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s forces and those of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, which has pledged to back Assad in the war.

McCain’s visit, which lasted several hours, is the first by a U.S. official since Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford visited earlier this month.

“The visit of Senator McCain to Syria is very important and very useful especially at this time,” Idris told The Daily Beast. “We need American help to have change on the ground; we are now in a very critical situation.” Read more

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