John McCain to Asharq Al-Awsat: We Will Work on Removing Assad, Defeating ISIS Simultaneously

Washington- US Senator John McCain has fully backed the US strike carried out by US President Donald Trump’s administration against the airbase in Syria in response to the chemical attack committed by the Syrian regime against civilians.

McCain told Asharq Al-Awsat that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad must pay for his violation of the international law and his slaughter of innocents, adding that a strategy is being put meanwhile by Trump’s National Security Team to confront the Syrian crisis in the coming period.

Answering a question on the US administration approaches and priorities to put an end to the crisis, McCain said that the administration is capable of “removing Assad and defeating ISIS at the same time.”

Speaking of the possibility to carry out other US airstrikes, the US senator said: “I think that this is a first step in Syria. We must liberate Mosul and Raqqa from ISIS, arm the Free Syrian Army and establish safe zones for the Syrian refugees.”

The US senator added that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will deliver a message to Moscow during his visit on April 12 that the game is over and they “will be held responsible” for their acts. In his opinion, Trump’s administration is developing a clear strategy in dealing with the Syrian crisis. He also expressed his faith in the National Security Team – cooperating with Trump.

In a related matter, he added that last week’s meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi tackled several topics related to US-Egypt ties. McCain affirmed, as he concluded his statement, that US-Saudi relations and US-Egyptian ties are vital.