September 6, 2013

Arizona Senator John McCain faced a tough crowd largely opposed to military action in Syria during a town hall meeting Thursday in Phoenix.

McCain faced an emotional plea from a constituent who was from Syria, a woman whom KTAR radio identified as Jumana Hadeed. She said she considered herself a longtime McCain supporter.

“I have a cousin who is 18 years old, just was killed 10 days ago by the so-called rebels and al-Qaida, and they’re not Syrian. They’re coming to Syria from all over the world to fight this. We cannot afford to do that. We cannot afford to turn Syria into another Iraq or Afghanistan. I beg you,” Hadeed said.

Hadeed's passionate pleas drew applause from many of the other town hall participants.

“All I can tell you is that I, too, have been to Syria, I, too, know the people who are fighting there. I met them, I know them and I know who they are,” McCain responded. “And I know Syria well enough to know that it is a moderate nation. It is not a nation that will embrace these foreign fighters, but to say that Bashar Assad is anything but a merciless butcher, then we have a strong disagreement.”

McCain is also holding a town hall Friday in Prescott, Arizona.

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