- (Photo: AP Images / LM Otero)
Arizona Sen. John McCain has called on the Obama Administration to lead a military strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose security forces are accused of killing thousands of people protesting his rule.
McCain argued on Monday during a speech at the Senate that President Barack Obama's diplomatic approach to the Assad regime is "starting to look more like hope than strategy" and pointed to a U.S.-led military engagement in Libya as a case for intervening in Syria.
"The president must state unequivocally that under no circumstances will Assad be allowed to finish what he has started, that there is no future in which Assad and his lieutenants will remain in control of Syria, and that the United States is prepared to use the full weight of our airpower to make it so," the Republican senator said.
"The Syrian people deserve to succeed, and shame on us if we fail to help them," he added.
The Obama Administration has responded to Sen. McCain's call for military action arguing that the U.S. will continue putting "pressure" on the Assad regime, as military intervention could exacerbate the conflict.
"We share his concern and outrage about what's taking place. 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," a senior Obama administration official told ABC News.
As McCain urged a U.S.-led intervention in Syria, U.N. humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos was given permission to enter the conflict-ridden country for the first time since the Syrian uprising began.
Amos will be in Syria from Wednesday through Friday of this week and will call on all parties to stop the violence as well as urge the Assad regime to allow full access into the country by humanitarian relief groups.
The U.N. has estimated that over 7,000 people have been killed in Syria since last March when peaceful anti-government protests ensued.