McCain says Obama administration's stance on Syria risks undermining US ally Turkey

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"The country is already facing massive flows of refugees, and it is welcoming them in by the thousands. Turkish pilots are now being shot down over international waters, according to Turkish leaders. And the longer this conflict grinds on, the worse it gets — the more sectarian divisions harden, the more al Qaeda gains influence, the more the Syrian state disintegrates and the more Turkey is faced with violent chaos on its border.”

He went on to argue that greater involvement would tamper Turkish concerns that the United States is losing influence in the Middle East and is no longer to take the lead. McCain has called for the United States to arm the rebels, among other measures to help topple Syrian President Bashar Assad following a 15-month uprising that has already seen more than 10,000 people killed.

“The United States needs to devote a fuller measure of its power to help end the conflict in Syria as soon as possible — not just because it is the right thing to do, and not just because it will be a strategic defeat for Iran, but because it can help to consolidate a new kind of relationship with Turkey,” he said. “It can show the Turkish people and government that America is willing to take risks for the sake of their security and to invest in their success — that we are not an unreliable partner or a declining power, as some in Turkey allege. We cannot afford to squander this opportunity.”