Sen. Graham Focuses On Syrian Conflict

Updated: Sunday, 12 Jun 2011, 10:54 AM MST
Published : Sunday, 12 Jun 2011, 10:54 AM MST

(NewsCore) – WASHINGTON — A top Senate Republican said Sunday the crackdown on democracy protesters by Syrian security forces may warrant an international military action modeled on the intervention in Libya.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said action may soon be needed to avert a humanitarian disaster in Syria similar to the one the North Atlantic Treaty Organization sought to avert with airstrikes against Col. Moamar Ghadafi in March.

“If it made sense to protect the Libyan people against Ghadafi, and it did because they were gonna get slaughtered if we hadn’t sent NATO in … the question for the world is: have we gotten to that point in Syria?” Graham asked. “We may not be there yet but we’re getting very close.”

Graham’s remarks, made on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” come after the White House on Friday called for an “immediate end to brutality and violence” in Syria and warned President Bashar al Assad he was leading his nation on a “dangerous path.”

The White House was reacting to news that Syrian forces killed at least 25 people in nationwide democracy protests and had begun a long-feared crackdown on the restive northwest town of Jisr al Shoghur.

Assad has reacted harshly to the pro-democracy protests, which are modeled on the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia that ousted long-ruling dictators there and have led to tumult throughout the Middle East.

The UK and France have drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution which demands that Assad end violence against the opposition and lift a siege of protesting cities. Some of the 15 member nations of the security council, notably Russia and China, have said they oppose the resolution.

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