In an interview with Alhurra’s congressional correspondent Rana Abtar, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) discussed the latest foreign policy issues in the Middle East. On the clashes between Hamas and Israel, he cautioned about the seriousness of the situation. “I agree Israel has the right to defend itself. But when people are killed, it inflicts further wounds which are slower to heal. Which next time brings the region closer to conflict.”
Sen. McCain stated he appreciated that Egypt had tried to broker a ceasefire, since it has “influence on both sides.” He went on to say, “I would like to see Qatar involved, as well and other countries that have support in all parts of the region.” However, he warned that failure of Hamas to agree to the ceasefire is “very serious.”
When discussing ISIL in Iraq, Sen. McCain stated he does not support ground troops, but is open to air strikes against ISIL. He also advised that the U.S. should exert maximum pressure for Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to form a transitional government.
Sen. McCain recommended the U.S. treat the ISIL controlled region in Iraq and Syria as one area. “You have got to go in and take out targets in Syria as well. Some of the equipment that was captured in Mosul is now showing up in Syria.” He also stated that the U.S. must “understand the nature of this threat.”