Assad’s ‘murderous rampage’ must be stopped: McCain

US-Senator John McCain addresses journalists during press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (AP)
Updated 12 April 2017

Assad’s ‘murderous rampage’ must be stopped: McCain

SARAJEVO: US Senator John McCain, an advocate for a tougher stance on Syria for years, on Tuesday demanded the end of Damascus’ “murderous rampage” saying Moscow should cease its support for the regime.
Syrian President “Bashar Assad must be stopped in this murderous rampage that continues,” McCain told reporters in Sarajevo during a tour of the Western Balkans.
“I was glad to see our Secretary of State just today say the Russians should divorce themselves from the conduct of Bashar Assad,” the Republican said.
McCain hailed as a “credible first step” the American air strikes on Syria last week in response to an alleged chemical attack that Washington has blamed on Assad’s regime.
The senator urged a new strategy aimed at putting Assad’s air forces out of combat.
“I believe we should not have Bashar Assad’s air force continue the indiscriminate murdering of innocent civilians,” McCain said, calling the Syrian president a “war criminal” and urging his defeat along with the Daesh group.
“When some of our leaders say, ‘Well first we have to take care of Daesh then take care of Bashar Assad’ — the US are the most powerful nation on earth, we can do both at same time.”
He also lashed out at Russian military operations in Syria, saying that to a mother who loses her child as a result of actions by the regime or its ally, it “really doesn’t matter much whether the child was killed by a chemical weapon or barrel bomb.”
“Needless and senseless slaughter of innocent men, women and children is an obligation for all of us to stop, including Russians who use precision weapons to attack hospitals in Aleppo,” McCain said.


China calls expulsion of diplomats from US a ‘mistake’

Updated 8 min 47 sec ago

China calls expulsion of diplomats from US a ‘mistake’

  • It comes days after they announced a truce in the form of a mini-deal to reduce some tariffs in a bruising trade war which has weighed on both sides
  • The incident appeared to be the first time in more than 30 years that the US has expelled Chinese diplomats on suspicion of espionage

BEIJING: China on Monday called the expulsion of diplomats from the US a “mistake,” following reports that Washington quietly expelled two embassy officials in September after they drove onto a sensitive military base in Virginia.
The incident is the latest spat between the world’s two biggest economies and comes days after they announced a truce in the form of a mini-deal to reduce some tariffs in a bruising trade war which has weighed on both sides.
Commenting on The New York Times report, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called the accusations “completely contrary to the facts” and said they “strongly urge the United States to correct its mistake.”
Geng said Beijing had lodged “solemn representations and protests to the US” and called for Washington to “protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese diplomats.”
The incident appeared to be the first time in more than 30 years that the US has expelled Chinese diplomats on suspicion of espionage, the newspaper said Sunday, citing people familiar with the episode.
At least one of the diplomats was believed to be an intelligence officer operating under cover, the Times said.