McCain heads to Saudi Arabia to discuss Syria progress

Published January 18th, 2015 - 11:05 GMT
Arizona state Senator John McCain has urged for more US military action in Syria during the conflict's long life span, and arrived in Saudi Arabia this week to discuss the US's upcoming train and equip program for moderate Syrian rebels. (AFP/File)
Arizona state Senator John McCain has urged for more US military action in Syria during the conflict's long life span, and arrived in Saudi Arabia this week to discuss the US's upcoming train and equip program for moderate Syrian rebels. (AFP/File)

John McCain has led a delegation of US senators to Saudi Arabia, where they discussed with the Kingdom’s crown prince a Pentagon plan to arm and train the moderate militants in Syria.

The Pentagon has announced it is deploying about 1,000 troops to train the Syrian militants to fight against the ISIL militant group.

The training program, which is expected to begin in March, will also include hundreds of US support personnel who will be operating at sites in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to the Pentagon.

A message on the official Twitter feed for Sen. McCain said the US senators also met Saturday with Ahmad al-Jarba, the leader of the Syrian National Council, as well as the commander of Saudi Arabia's training and equipment program, The Associated Press reports.

McCain, an Arizona Republican, has pressed for increased military aid to militant groups in Syria to fight a “two-front war” against both the government of President Bashar al-Assad and ISIL terrorists controlling large swaths of territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

Critics argue that the Obama administration's plan to “train and equip” what it calls moderate Syrian militants into a proxy ground force against ISIL is foolhardy, because the US could end up arming terrorists if alliances shift in the future.

 


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