WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators warned Thursday against Syria using chemical or biological weapons against its people, and backed the administration’s statement that such actions would cross a “red line.”
“It is time for us to be ready for any eventuality, including the option of military intervention,” Sen. John McCain, a Republican, told reporters.
McCain was joined at a press conference by Sens. Joe Lieberman, Lindsay Graham and Chris Coons, who affirmed their support for the president’s strong stance, and indicated that the larger Senate shares in that sentiment.
“This is not an easy thing, to get consensus in the U.S. Senate on virtually anything,” Coons, a Democrat, said.
The group of senators warned that should Syrian President Bashar al-Assad use weapons of mass destruction against his people, the United States would forcibly end his regime.
“That’s what unites us: If al-Assad uses biological or chemical weapons on his people… We’re saying that we’re with you, Mr. President (Obama), to use military action and basically end the Assad regime.”
“He’s going to go,” Graham echoed, referring to al-Assad. “He’s going to go feet first or he’s going to leave on his own, but he’s going to go.”
“Red lines are often talked about, but the red line here literally is red,” Graham said. “The line we’re crossing is, more than 40,000 people have died.”