John McCain Visits Syria, WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain quietly slipped into Syria for a meeting with Syrian rebels on Monday.
Spokeswoman Rachael Dean confirms the Arizona Republican made the visit. She declined further comment about the trip.
visit took place amid meetings in Paris involving efforts to secure
participation of Syria's fractured opposition in an international peace
conference in Geneva.Two years of violence in Syria has
killed more than 70,000 people. President Barack Obama has demanded that
Syrian President Bashar Assad leave power, while Russia has stood by
Syria, its closest ally in the Arab world.
McCain has been a
leading proponent of arming the rebels and other aggressive military
steps against the Assad regime. He has criticized Obama administration
policy there while stopping short of backing U.S. ground troops in
The White House did not respond to a request from The Associated Press for comment.
Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to provide
weapons to rebels in Syria, as well as military training to vetted rebel
groups and sanctions against anyone who sells oil or transfers arms to
the Assad regime. McCain is a member of the committee.