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U.S. senator sneaks into Syria to meet rebels


08:05, May 28, 2013

DAMASCUS, May 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senator John McCain has snuck into Syria from Turkey and met with Western-backed rebels' leaders in northern Syria, media reports said Monday.

McCain's visit was reportedly confirmed by one of his spokesmen in Washington who declined to give further details.

The head of the rebels Free Syrian Army (FSA), Salem Idris, reportedly said that they asked the official for U.S. strikes against the Syrian troops and the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group whose fighters are alleged to be fighting alongside the Syrian army in the central city of al-Qussair.

Other news websites published a photo of McCain flanked with FSA fighters in front of an office-like guest house whose facade was decorated with the rebels' flags and a banner which reads " welcome to new Syria."

The 76-year-old senator is an outspoken critic of the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and is also known of being a staunch critic of Washington's ostensible policy of non-intervention in the Syrian crisis.

The senator has further urged the Obama administration to militarily intervene in Syria.

His visit came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov were making preparations in Paris for the upcoming Geneva Conference on the Syrian issue slated for mid-June, and as the European Union failed again to lift an arm embargo on the Syrian opposition due to lack of consensus.

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