8 June 2013, 19:06

‘Time to dispatch Patriot missiles to Syria’ - John McCain

Джон Маккейн сенатор США

John McCain

John McCain

Senator John McCain has called for sending Patriot missiles to Syria. According to the Voice of Russia’s correspondent, one of the top foreign policy hawks has offered his view on resolving the Syrian crisis which has nothing to do with diplomatic efforts or attempts to establish a peaceful dialogue between the government and the opposition.

Two weeks ago John McCain, an ardent proponent of US military intervention in the Syrian crisis, paid a surprise visit to a Syrian region bordering on Turkey where he met with rebels.

In his scathing criticism of Barack Obama, the former presidential candidate says the conflict in Syria can be settled fairly quickly if the president demonstrates determination and political will.

“Reluctance on the part of the US to keep its promise to prevent the crisis from going beyond the so-called ‘red line’ will lead to far-reaching consequences in the Middle East and will create a threat to US national security”, - McCain said during his speech at the Brookings Institution.

“President Assad will never agree to peace talks”, - he added.

In Senator McCain’s opinion, the only way to deal with the crisis is to provide the opposition with weapons and instructors and to launch an international operation against President Assad’s government.

To this end, he said, there is no need to destroy all air defenses of the enemy or dispatch thousands of servicemen to the conflict zone.

The best solution is to resort to pinpoint strikes using long-range missiles in order to destroy Assad’s air forces and missile batteries, McCain said.

The US could create a safety zone for Syria’s interim government and guarantee protection of this zone with Patriot missiles, the senator said. In addition, we could organize training for Syrian opposition forces, he added.

McCain’s statements came just weeks before an international conference on Syria in Geneva. As if by coincidence, Syrian opposition representatives have suddenly refused to take part in peace talks.

This could hardly be accidental. Whatever the case, these kinds of announcements on the part of a high-ranking Washington official reduce all diplomatic efforts to zero.

Paul Salem of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a NPR interview that he is skeptical about the Geneva II Conference on Syria.

“The second conference will not help to resolve the crisis. Even the 10th won’t change anything. It will take years to sort this crisis out. The Assad government has no intention of starting serious talks while the opposition is split and unprepared for compromise. Our priority is to end the bloodshed, or if that is not possible, to reduce its scope and ease tension”.

The While House has issued no comment in connection with McCain’s statements. Washington’s policy regarding Syria will be made public during the Geneva conference in July.

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