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John McCain, Lindsey Graham respond to Obama’s Syria announcement

PHOENIX — Just hours after President Barack Obama’s speech Saturday afternoon at the White House, Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., released a joint statement that approves of Obama’s decision, but with one caveat.

Obama asserted that the U.S. should order a military strike in Syria on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but he said he would wait for Congressional authorization first.

McCain and Graham agreed with Obama’s statement Saturday, but cautioned the president against ordering isolated attacks.

“We believe President Obama is correct that the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons requires a military response by the United States and our friends and allies. Since the President is now seeking Congressional support for this action, the Congress must act as soon as possible.

“However, we cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President’s stated goal of Assad’s removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests. Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing. And it would send the wrong signal to America’s friends and allies, the Syrian opposition, the Assad regime, Iran, and the world – all of whom are watching closely what actions America will take.”