- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ramping up pressure on President Obama to lay out a clear policy toward Syria, Sen. John McCain said Wednesday the nation’s growing refugee population will come to “hate” the United States if it does not do more to assist the opposition forces.

Mr. McCain said Mr. Obama should stick to his word from two years ago when he called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign.

The Arizona Republican said the administration could shift the momentum back to opposition forces by taking out Syria’s air power and providing the anti-government forces with equipment, weapons and a safe zone on the Turkish or Jordanian border.

“There is no way that there will be American boots on the ground. No one would support such a thing. You can rule that out,” Mr. McCain said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “But we need to have a policy, and we need to assist those who are fighting against the overwhelming odds.”

Mr. McCain said the the conflict is spreading into Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon and warned that refugees are counting on the U.S. to play a larger role in the conflict.

“This conflict cannot be contained within Syria, and we have to understand that, and that is why we have to help these people get rid of Bashar al-Assad,” Mr. McCain said, before adding that 100,000 people have been “massacred” in the ongoing civil war. “We now have a million children who are refugees, by the way, who will grow up to hate us because they feel strongly that we have abandoned them with some justification.”

SEE ALSO: Obama struggles to justify Syria attack to skeptical Americans, Congress

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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