McCain says U.S. credibility in Middle East 'has never been lower'

Aug. 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Sen. John McCain said President Barack Obama's lack of response to reported atrocities in Syria have U.S. credibility in the Middle East at an all-time low.

McCain, R-Ariz., criticized Obama for doing little in response to reports earlier this week of chemical attacks by Syrian forces, a year after the president said use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line," the Washington newspaper The Hill reported Thursday.

"American credibility has never been lower," McCain said. Red lines on Syria have been threatened with no action taken. Threats to cut off assistance to Egypt have been made and then reneged. Our friends and enemies alike ... are questioning whether America has the will and the capacity to do what it says."

Speaking on CNN, McCain said U.S. military intervention in Syria could be done easily, with "standoff weapons just as the Israelis have, four times, as they've taken out targets inside Syria. We would put not a single (American) life at risk."

McCain suggested "supplying the right kinds of weapons to rebels" and the establishment of a no-fly zone over Syria with the use of patriot missiles at the border, Politico reported.

The White House is reviewing its assistance to Egypt, and two months ago sent small arms to Syria after concluding the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, The Hill noted.

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