Sens. McCain and Graham disagree with Kerry's praise of Syria

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) criticized Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday for praising Syria's compliance with the recent resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

McCain and Graham took issue with Kerry's comment that Syria's compliance was a good beginning in the quest to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. The two senators said Kerry's comment overlooks reports that Syria began moving its chemical weapons after Russia first proposed its international monitoring plan. McCain and Graham also mentioned other purportedly condemning reports about Syria's chemical weapons program.

"Additional reports have come to light, in particular from a former Syrian government official with intimate knowledge of the chemical weapons program, alleging that the government has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to sites dispersed around the country and outside it, including possibly into Lebanon and Iraq," McCain and Graham said.

McCain and Graham said that if this development was true, it would indicate that Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime means to preserve parts of its chemical weapons arsenal. They also said the stockpiles could be obtained by Hezbollah and Iranian forces that threaten U.S. interests and allies.

"Any unauthorized movement of chemical weapons by the Assad regime raises questions about the Syrian government's commitment to implementing the U.N. resolution on destroying its chemical weapons arsenal and suggests that the Syrian government is not adhering strictly to its pledged commitments," McCain and Graham said.

McCain and Graham said the U.S. should appraise the events taking place in Syria with caution and monitor their actions to prevent Syria from taking advantage of the U.N. resolution.

"We must not forget that while the Syrian government is being lauded for committing to the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal, Russia and Iran continue to supply Bashar al-Assad with large amounts of conventional weapons for his unabated massacre of innocent men, women, and children," McCain and Graham said.