(Our headline and the top of this post were updated at 2:46 p.m. ET.)
The U.S. and its allies should begin air strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces and defenses in order to end the humanitarian catastrophe now underway in that country, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is saying right now on the floor of the Senate.
Our Original Post. Report: 'McCain To Call For Air Strikes On Syria'
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will later today become the first senator to call for U.S.-led air strikes on the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Foreign Policy magazine's The Cable blog reports:
" 'After a year of bloodshed, the crisis in Syria has reached a decisive moment,' McCain will say Monday afternoon in a speech on the Senate floor, according to excerpts obtained in advance by The Cable."
McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, crossed party lines last year to support the U.S. role in the allied air campaign against the forces of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
So far, the Obama administration has not endorsed the idea of military action against Assad. The United Nations estimates that more than 7,500 people have died in the year or so since protests against the Assad regime began.
McCain has previously said that anti-Assad fighters need to be supplied with "weapons, tactical intelligence, communications equipment, financing, and medical supplies." And, he has said, "we should also explore measures that can be taken to disrupt Assad's ability to command and control his forces."