U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday criticized President Obama’s recent decision to begin helping Syrian rebels too little, too late to help American interests in the region and “build a new Syria.”
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Rubio – a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 – said Obama’s dithering as the Syrian fighting dragged on has narrowed the potential course of action for the United States.
Last week, the administration announced it would begin aiding the rebels with weapons, but stopped short of more direct measures such as a “no-fly” zone that would remove the Syrian government’s advantage in air power.
Other Republican senators, such as John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., support the “no-fly” zone idea.
But Rubio said deciding whom to assist earlier was as important as deciding how to assist.
Because the Obama administration did not get involved earlier with the most pro-Western elements of the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad, he said, anti-Western Islamic militants have moved to the forefront.
That’s led to the regime being backed by the Iranian and the Russian governments, while its chief opponents are no friends of the United States.
Rubio called this stage of the Syrian fighting “the worst possible scenario right now.”
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