Republican senators’ conditional support for US strike on Syria
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Monday after talking to the president at the White House that what is wanted of a US strike on Syria is to “degrade Assad’s capabilities and upgrade those of rebel forces.” DEBKAfile: That is a long chalk beyond Obama’s definition of a "narrow, limited" strike restricted to missiles launched from the sea.
The two senators said a vote in US Congress against military action would “undermine the credibility of the president of the United States and America. … But we have a long way to go.” Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are scheduled to argue the case for Obama’s version of a US attack before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. That will be the first hearing in the president’s bid to overcome congressional divisions over the attack.