- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Republican Sen. John McCain said Wednesday President Obama struck an emotional chord with the American public late Tuesday, but he was “very disappointed” that he did not lay out a plan to arm vetted rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“I feel very badly for my friends in the Free Syrian Army today,” Mr. McCain of Arizona told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Unlikely many of his colleagues, the senator has pushed for military action to punish Mr. Assad for a chemical attack Aug. 21 near Damascus that killed an estimated 1,400 civilians.

“I thought we should have acted a long time ago,” Mr. McCain said.

He said Syrian rebels will be driven into the hands of extremist groups in the region if they think the they’ve been abandoned by the United States and other western nations.

“That impression I’m sure has been made on them today,” he told MSNBC.

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