(CNN) – Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut called Sunday for the United States to provide direct assistance to the Syrian people in their struggle to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
"It's time to try to help the brave Syrian freedom fighters to carry out a fair fight," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."
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U.N. officials estimate 6,000 people have died since protests seeking political reforms in Syria began nearly a year ago.
So far, the Obama administration has recalled the U.S. ambassador to Syria and imposed sanctions, while pushing unsuccessfully for a U.N. Security Council resolution against the Assad regime.
However, it has resisted calls by veteran Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and some Republican presidential candidates to take a larger role in backing the Syrian opposition movement.
Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats and chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, argued that any U.S. effort must be part of an international coalition, similar to the nation's involvement in Libya last year.
He also suggested that U.S. assistance first come through medical help, then later through training, communications equipment, and ultimately, weapons.
The United States has major security interests in aiding Syria, which gets support from Iran, Lieberman said.
Pointing to the recent veto by Russia and China of a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at halting the violence, Lieberman said other countries and coalitions must get involved.
"America ought to take the position that every option is on the table except doing nothing, because doing nothing means hundreds of more Syrians are killed and it means that Iran, which continues to give Assad the weapons with which he's killing his own people, will achieve a strategic victory over us," Lieberman told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
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Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
It's amazing to see the reaction on these forum posts. In my opinion, the majority of American readers and posters do not want to intervene in Syria. CNN and other news sites can post all the pictures of dead and dying children but I think Americans are desensitized to this. Better the Syrians then their own children. If people want freedom, it's time they pay for it in their own blood rather than the blood of Americans.
Yes Liebermann – Let's help the Muslims with Taliban support overthrow the Secular Arab regimes. Worked Great in Iraq.
Couldn't be putting Israel's interests of conquering the entire Middle East before America's (again) could we???
America needs to just leave the middle east, thaaaanks
I am so sick of America thinking she ihas to take care of the world and all the people in it. I agree ith dagoberto: Joe Liberman, YOU go save Syria.
Why can't we just mind our own business and fix ourselves. If the Arab League of Nations wants to do something then it is up to them. If the UN wants to do something then we should support them but since China and Russia have vetoed then we need to sit on our hands until we are asked to provide support. We must stop fixing other countries and keep the funds here to fix our own economy.