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McCain: Obama must act with 'equal gravity' after 'historic atrocity' in Syria

U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released the following statement on Syria on Friday: 

Secretary Kerry made a passionate and compelling case that established the Assad's regime use of chemical weapons on August 21. The only remaining question is how to respond to an attack that was a crime against humanity, a violation of international law, and contrary to our interests and values as a nation. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the response to this historic atrocity being contemplated by the Obama administration will be equal to the gravity of the crime itself and the U.S. national security interests at stake in Syria.

The purpose of military action in Syria should not be to help the president save face. It should not be merely cosmetic. Instead, the goal of military action should be to shift the balance of power on the battlefield against Assad and his forces. The United States, together with our friends and allies, should take out Assad's air power, ballistic missiles, command and control, and other significant military targets, and we should dramatically increase our efforts to train and arm moderate Syrian opposition forces. This can be done in a limited way, without boots on the ground, and at minimal risk to our men and women in uniform.

We urge President Obama to delay no further in taking military action in Syria that could finally change the momentum of this awful and destructive conflict.

John McCain is a Republican Senator from Arizona.

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