Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
-- -- and airline -- than -- Senator John McCain is visiting Syria amid some new theories of an arms race sending weapons both sides.
And this bloody civil war Senator McCain a frequent critic -- current US policy toward Syria.
Made a surprise visit and is making that surprise visit to meet with opposition -- -- as you can see by some of the pictures there on your screen.
Senator McCain favors sending arms to rebel forces the White House now says they knew in advance about the senator's visit.
And they look forward to speaking with him when he gets back.
In the meantime the EU has decided to lift lift -- arms embargo on the Syrian opposition -- while maintaining all other sanctions against the regime.
At a meeting in Paris attack US and Russian diplomats are hoping to accelerate peace efforts but now we're learning.
That Russia plans to provide Syria DS side the government specifically.
Anti aircraft missiles.
Michael saying is a former senior director of Middle Eastern affairs at the national security council on Michael.
It seems the news on Syria often comes in waves.
What do you make and this late in the latest news over the last -- for 48 hours and what's it tell us about -- state of the war inside Syria.
Sure well you know things seem to be going in a sense from bad to worse in Syria -- place -- we have tremendous strategic interest we've seen.
Hezbollah sort of double down and say it was sort of for increasing its commitments that fight.
We see an increase in support for the regime from Iran.
We've seen -- says pronouncement about weapons -- and all the while you sort of have the US and our allies basically sitting on the sidelines and the EU decision is a good one.
I netted at least freeze that sort of way four arms shipments to the Syrian opposition.
But it's not actually -- decision to give the opposition arms so.
Going into any sort of negotiations any discussion of diplomacy.
It's a US and our allies as well as the Syrian opposition which really lacks leverage here -- Megan McCain's visit.
Well look I think what Senator McCain is doing is useful because.
You know I think he'd -- he going into Syria kind of demonstrates that there are members of the opposition that we could potentially -- -- it's not all sort of radical elements there.
And I think that will sort of put a little bit of extra pressure on the administration to reconsider its policy of not arming the opposition.
Just like for example big Israeli air raids in the Syria earlier kind of defeated this notion that series air defenses were too strong to take on.
Let's talk a little bit about that in a moment but first one more question on McCain because -- you see -- pictures of a lawmaker or high profile lawmaker.
Inside Syria one might think -- -- it safe enough for him to go inside.
But it is -- the timing of his trip Michael.
It does it really tell us that that it's -- -- safer inside Syria or is his trip.
To have -- our hands because -- side is actually winning.
Well you know I think Syria is anything but safe there's fighting that's going on -- assignment and it's getting I think more dangerous not safer.
I think I wouldn't -- sort of over interpret the trip in that sense I would just say it I think what Senator McCain is trying to do is.
-- a show a little bit of boldness and a little bit of leadership and show that look you know.
There are people here who wants our help who need our help and who we can work with and I think -- visit will actually be useful -- sort of illustrating that.
-- -- wait and see what he says and he comes back his observations as well from the ground their quick I don't question about these these.
-- the news -- -- Russia about the anti aircraft missiles.
Patent with the EU -- -- points out says it will arm rebels but that's not immediate and we don't really know what that means or who they are going to arm.
The rebels don't have aircraft.
So in Russia says it they're gonna give these anti aircraft missiles and we know that we have aircraft in Israel has aircraft what are week to make of that.
A legend and this -- old fashioned power politics is -- right need the rebels don't have aircraft they don't have helicopters.
This is aimed at limiting western options limiting US options.
So we talk about for example perhaps one day imposing a no fly zone are conducting airstrikes in Syria or allies do the same.
Well Russia provide Syria with this kind of air defense in order to limit that option.
And give itself and its allies more leverage going into any kind negotiations -- kind of determination of the outcome.
So Russia it sort of is putting skin in the game in the US on the other hand is sitting on the sidelines and that -- is -- a tremendous disadvantage.
Well I think you know what's next I think from the US perspective -- were hoping for this peace conference to take place in Geneva.
But again that sort of getting pushed off into the future.
While the regime's forces are gaining momentum on the ground ball you have the regime's allies -- -- pouring more assistance and and really events on the ground going against US interests and so I think.
Again what what's going to happen here is events on the ground are gonna start to overtake.
Our efforts to shape an outcome that's advance advantageous to -- -- Pressure really wants Iran.
To be president at those peace talks will continue to watch -- -- -- have -- Michael thank you so much always appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you Jenna.
Filter by section