McCain, Graham condemn Obama's 'hollow words' and inaction on Syria

McCain, Graham condemn Obama's 'hollow words' and inaction on Syria
© Greg Nash

Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? Trump pick brings scrutiny to 'revolving door' between Pentagon, industry MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBooker calls for hearings on reports of ICE using solitary confinement GOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need exit strategy with Iran | McConnell open to vote on Iran war authorization | Senate panel advances bill to restrict emergency arms sales MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday tore into the Obama administration for "inaction" on Syria as president Bashar Assad's forces reclaim Aleppo from rebel groups.

“The words ‘never again’ ring hollow today with reports that Aleppo is falling to Assad regime forces. For four long years, Aleppo has been at the center of the Assad regime’s war on the Syrian people,” the two senators said in a statement.


Recalling President Obama's 2011 statement that preventing genocide is “a core moral responsibility of the United States,” McCain and Graham said “that reckoning is now upon us.”

“The cold logic of mass graves confronts us yet again, and the name Aleppo will echo through history, like Srebrenica and Rwanda, as a testament to our moral failure and everlasting shame,” the statement read.

Assad’s regime has retaken the eastern part of Aleppo from rebel forces. The United Nations says regime forces are killing civilians as they reclaim the remaining parts of the city, according to the BBC

McCain and Graham have been two of the most outspoken voices against the White House’s Syria policy. They called for the arming of opposition groups fighting Assad during the early years of the war.

Upon the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), McCain and Graham argued that removing Assad was essential to defeating ISIS.

The senators implicated Russia and Iran as allies in the Syrian regime’s targeting of “women and children, doctors and rescue workers, hospitals and bakeries, aid warehouses and humanitarian convoys.”

“But this is the inevitable result of hollow words and inaction, red lines crossed without consequences, tarnished moral influence, ‘leading from behind,’ and a total lack of American leadership,” they said.

A cease-fire was reached Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, to allow rebels and civilians to vacate.