(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, a consistent critic of U.S. inaction regarding the civil war in Syria, on Saturday again blasted the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in an interview with CNN.
He was speaking at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy, an annual conference bringing together political leaders from around the globe.
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McCain did not advocate sending U.S. troops into the battles, but said he supported the U.S. using a model similar to the way the United States handled an uprising in Libya in 2011. "Get them arms and weapons so it is a fair fight," he said.
"First, voice your moral support the way Ronald Reagan did for the people behind the iron curtain," McCain said in an interview with CNN's Nina Dos Santos. "Second get them the weapons so it's a fair fight. Third establish a sanctuary or free zone where they can organize.”
McCain criticized the line in the sand drawn by Obama as giving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad too much leeway.
"This president unbelievably announced that if Bashar (al-)Assad used chemical weapons, he'd have crossed a red line," McCain said. "Isn't he also telling Bashar (al-)Assad he can do anything up to that?"
He has previously called Obama's handling of the situation "shameful."
Among the other Americans attending the forum were Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina; Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut; Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, as well as several academics from schools including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.