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John McCain, Lindsey Graham urge White House to take swift action in Syria

This file photo shows U.S. Senators John McCain, left, and Lindsey Graham, right, talking during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., issued a joint statement Friday urging President Barack Obama to take military action in Syria.

The senators said Sec. of State John Kerry made a compelling case that that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime was in fact behind the use of chemical weapons on civilians on Aug. 21.

"The only remaining question is how to respond to an attack that was a crime against humanity, a violation of international law, and contrary to our interests and values as a nation. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the response to this historic atrocity being contemplated by the Obama Administration will be equal to the gravity of the crime itself and the U.S. national security interests at stake in Syria.

"The purpose of military action in Syria should not be to help the President save face. It should not be merely cosmetic. Instead, the goal of military action should be to shift the balance of power on the battlefield against Assad and his forces. The United States, together with our friends and allies, should take out Assad's air power, ballistic missiles, command and control, and other significant military targets, and we should dramatically increase our efforts to train and arm moderate Syrian opposition forces. This can be done in a limited way, without boots on the ground, and at minimal risk to our men and women in uniform. "

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