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Senators: US should arm Syria opposition

20 Feb 2012 - 11:12

Islam Times - Two Republican US senators have called on the administration of the country’s President Barack Obama to multiply its efforts to oust the Syrian regime by arming the Middle Eastern country’s opposition.

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who both serve on Senate Armed Services Committee, made the appeal on Sunday.

“I believe there are ways to get weapons to the opposition without direct United States involvement,” McCain said.

“So I am not only not opposed, but I am in favor of weapons being obtained by the opposition,” he added.

The senator further explained that the US government could equip the Syrian opposition through ‘third-world countries’ and the Arab League (AL).

Graham said, “If the Syrian regime is replaced with another form of government…the world is a better place.”

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds, reportedly including over 2,000 security forces.

Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

The West and the Syrian opposition, however, accuse the government of killing protesters.

The senators’ comments come a day after media reports showed that ‘a good number’ of US military and intelligence drones are operating in the airspace over Syria.

Graham also said that Washington had to continue pressuring Russia and China to make them change their stances towards Damascus.

Earlier in February, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on the country, which called on Assad to resign and hand over power to opposition leaders.

The two countries had also vetoed a similar resolution against Syria in October.