Sen. John McCain believes Russia’s decision to withdraw its troops from Syria is not a step towards peace, but instead a sign of President Barack Obama’s failed policies in the region.
The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee released a press statement just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday that Russia would begin withdrawing some its military forces from Syria starting Tuesday. In his statement, McCain said Russia’s decision shows Putin believes he has won in Syria.
“The announcement that Russia will begin withdrawing some military forces from Syria signals Vladimir Putin’s belief that he has bombed and killed enough of the opponents of the murderous Assad regime to ensure its survival,” said McCain in his statement. “For four years, the Administration stood by as the Assad regime slaughtered nearly half a million people in Syria. Then when Assad appeared weak, it watched as Putin intervened militarily and protected his brutal regime.”
Putin’s official statement announcing the decision expressed a belief that the Russian military had indeed accomplished what it set out to do.
“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished. That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow,” said Putin in a statement, as reported by Russia’s RT news outlet.
McCain claimed the Obama administration “consoled itself” with its belief that there was no military solution to the Syrian issue. For his part, McCain believes there is a “clear military dimension” included in any potential for peace in Syria.
“Unfortunately, that is what Russia and its proxies have demonstrated in Syria. They have changed the military facts on the ground and created the terms for a political settlement more favorable to their interests,” said McCain.
McCain predicted that instead of a step towards peace, the Syria conflict will likely “grind on,” while ISIS will grow in strength and the refugee crisis will continue. He also warned that Russia will likely continue its aggression in other theaters.
“I fear that a bloody spring is coming again to Ukraine,” McCain concluded.
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