WASHINGTON, April 28 A group of nations should
get troops ready to invade Syria in order to secure possible
stocks of chemical weapons, a senior U.S. senator said on
Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, said U.S.
troops should not go into Syria, but that an international force
must "be ready operationally" to go in and prevent Islamic
militants involved in Syria's civil war from getting their hands
on chemical weapons.
"There are number of caches of these chemical weapons. They
cannot fall into the hands of the jihadists," McCain, who was
the 2008 Republican presidential candidate and is an influential
voice on military issues in the U.S. Senate, told NBC's Meet The
More than 70,000 people have died in Syria's two-year-old
civil war, and the White House said on Thursday the Syrian
government of President Bashar al-Assad had probably used
chemical weapons on a small scale in the conflict.
Syria denies using chemical weapons in the war.
The U.S. fears anti-Assad Islamist rebels affiliated to al
Qaeda could seize the chemical weapons, and Washington and its
allies have discussed scenarios where tens of thousands of
ground troops go into Syria if Assad's government falls.