Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in separate interviews Thursday that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime means the red line laid out by the Obama administration has been crossed and should trigger further involvement from the United States in the Syrian civil war.
“In my view, it was crossed. Not only have our intelligence people concluded that, but as importantly the Israeli, the British and the French have as well,” McCain said on Fox News. “The president clearly stated that it was a red line and that it couldn’t be crossed without the United States taking vigorous action.That action should be a safe zone for the Syrian opposition to operate in syria, weapons to the right people in Syria and neutralizing the air capability of Bashar Assad.”
Sen. Graham said that the administration’s assessment that chemical weapons have been used means the red line has been crossed and demands further action. “It’s a red line that’s been crossed,” Graham said on CNN. “So the question is what’s next?”
Graham laid out what he thinks the next steps should be: “I think the international community should rally around helping the rebels by having a no-fly zone some place they can operate safely, arm the appropriate groups within the rebel forces and there are some radical jihadists unfortunately, every day it gets worse, but really put pressure on the Russians to get Assad out. And the day after he leaves, the number one goal for me is to secure the chemical weapons. There are enough chemical weapons in Syria to kill thousands if not millions of people. So I want the Syrian opposition council to agree to work with us, the international community, to secure the chemical weapons sites and destroy them.”