Sen. John McCain continued to call for an American intervention in Syria on Monday’s Morning Joe.
The flood of refugees out of Syria has destabilized much of the Middle East, he said, and “it’s turning into a regional and sectarian conflict,” as Sunnis and Shiites clash.
Last week, McCain secretly visited Syria for several hours, meeting with rebel commanders to speak with them about the conflict.
“I wanted to meet with these people who are fighting,” he said. “I wanted to get a chance to see it myself.”
“I met these young fighters, these battalion commanders, I met 19 of them. They’re tough, they’re hardened, but they’re—if the word isn’t anger, they’re very disappointed that we haven’t helped them more while these weapons are moving in that are slaughtering these people,” McCain said.
He said the situation in Syria was getting worse: some estimate that as many as 100,000 have been killed.
“Right now, Assad is winning,” McCain told a reporter last week shortly after leaving Syria.
“It really is very, very dangerous,” he said. “I believe we could still intervene by cruise missiles taking out their air on the runway, providing a safe zone protected by patriot missiles. No boots on the ground, no American aircraft overhead.”
The president has called for a no-fly zone, arming of the rebels, and establishing zones to protect refugees, but McCain wants more.
“I have been deeply disappointed in the Obama administration standing by and watching 80,000 thousand people being massacred,” McCain told reporters last week.