"The longer this lasts, the more brutal, the more massacres, the more brutality and the more likelihood that these extremist elements enter in, the more likelihood that these chemical weapons stockpiles that [Syrian President] Bashar Assad has gets in the wrong hands or maybe even used," said McCain on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight"
McCain suggested Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Turkey and Libya as possible partners in the effort to stop the continuing violence in Syria and support the groups trying to oust Assad.
"It would be in our interest," he added.
Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a United Nations resolution calling for sanctions against the Syria's government for the third time since revolt broke out 17 months ago.
On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday, McCain also called for the establishment of a "safe zone" on the Turkish border, as well as providing arms directly to rebel groups.
"We can show American leadership and get a coalition of the willing, establish a safe area where they could train and equip and stop the massacre that's going on," he said on MSNBC.
The Arizona senator said that other countries in the region are waiting for American leadership to act.
He stressed that he's not calling for U.S. military intervention on the ground in Syria, saying that it "has not to do with a single American boot on the ground."
"Our interests are our values and our values are our interests. It is our values that we do what we can and we can't everywhere in the world, and we can't always do it — help people who are struggling for freedom and democracy," he said.