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Senators McCain, Graham Push to Arm Syrian Rebels

They argue that a new government there would weaken Iran
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2012 8:52 AM CST

(Newser) – John McCain and Lindsey Graham think the US isn't doing enough to help the Syrian opposition, and have drawn up proposals to provide humanitarian aid and arm rebel fighters. "I believe there are ways to get weapons to the opposition without direct United States involvement," McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said yesterday in Kabul, according to the New York Times. He believes the guns could be funneled through "third-world countries" and the Arab League.

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"The Iranians and Russians are providing Bashar Assad with weapons," McCain continued. "People that are being massacred deserve to have the ability to defend themselves." Graham, a fellow Armed Services Committee member, brought up Iran as well, noting that action taken in Syria could weaken Iran. "Breaking Syria apart from Iran could be as important to containing a nuclear Iran as sanctions," he reasoned. The statements go well beyond the Obama administration's official promise to support peaceful protests. (Read more Syria stories.)

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