Sen. John McCain today called for the United States to begin air strikes against the government of Syria, but the Obama administration indicated it did not agree with his strategy.
“Foreign capitals across the world are looking to the United States to lead, especially now that the situation in Syria has become an armed conflict,” the Republican from Arizona said on the Senate floor. “But what they see is an administration still hedging its bets — on the one hand, insisting that Assad’s fall is inevitable, but on the other, unwilling even to threaten more assertive actions that could make it so.”
But a senior Obama administration official indicated to ABC News that the president and his advisers did not agree with the Republican senator.
“We share his concern and outrage about what’s taking place,” the official said. “We’re also concerned that further military intervention will accelerate the conflict on the ground and worsen the humanitarian situation without stopping the violence the Syrian regime is committing against its own people.”
The official said the U.S. “wants to keep putting pressure on the Assad regime.”
The official noted that the Syrian situation is very different from Libya in many key technical ways, that make them question how effective airstrikes against the Syrian regime would be.
“There aren’t air attacks on the opposition, nor are large sections of country in control of the opposition,” the official said. In Syria, there are “snipers and artillery units in these populated areas” that would also make air strikes a dicier proposition.