Senate Panel Votes To Make Regime Change The Goal Of Syria Mission


Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted by voice vote Wednesday two amendments by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)  to the resolution authorizing military action in Syria that would make it the goal of the mission to “change the moment on the battlefield in Syria.”

The two McCain amendments to that effect, co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), change the non-binding Statement of Policy in the resolution to say:

It is the policy of the United States to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria so as to create favorable conditions for a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a democratic government in Syria.

The amendments point to degrading the Assad regime’s chemical weapons capability and the arming of Syrian opposition as means of reversing the situation on the ground in Syria, where the Assad regime is generally considered to be winning.

The language appears to address McCain’s concerns about the resolution that he voiced Wednesday morning when he said he would not support the resolution as it was then written. McCain has consistently said he supports further U.S. intervention in Syria to topple Assad.

The White House has repeatedly said that its goal with military intervention is not “regime change.”

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