By Mario Trujillo - 09/27/13 12:54 PM EDT
McCain said the resolution lacks any meaningful enforcement if the Syrian government fails to give up its chemical weapons stockpile.
“The Russians have said consistently that they would not enact meaningful sanctions against Syria if they failed to comply," he said. "There is no requirement. The only requirement is to go back to the U.N. Security Council.”
Earlier this month, McCain said any resolution not backed up by the use of force would be meaningless and be seen as a sign of U.S. weakness.
McCain has been a leading critic of the Obama administration’s handling of the war in Syria. He has long pushed for increased military assistance in the country to help end the conflict. McCain, who has visited the country, said the Free Syrian Army’s morale is at an all time low.
“We have now made an agreement — no repercussions for the 1,400 that were killed by sarin gas,” he said. “They feel abandoned. I’m very, very sad.”
The UN agreement brokered Thursday does not specify a trigger if Syria fails to give up its weapons. It would require the Security Council to reconvene to levy any punishment if Syria fails to comply. This language in the resolution was a Russian demand.
The Russians — a strong Syrian ally — had previously stalled resolutions condemning the use of chemical weapons in the country.
The agreement came about earlier this month when Russia took Secretary of State John Kerry up on his offer that Syria could avoid U.S. military action if it handed over all its chemical weapons.
The Obama administration had threatened the use of force in Syria after determining that President Bashar Assad’s regime killed 1,400 people late last month in a chemical weapons attack.