Meet the Press   |  June 16, 2013

Chambliss, Udall speak out on arming of Syrian rebels

Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Mark Udall visit Meet the Press to discuss the future of American intervention in Syria.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> what is the end game and what limits do you think should be placed on what the united states does in syria ?

>> well, i don't think you can place any limits on it right now, david. i do think it's imperative that assad be removed. it's pretty obvious that he is pretty well entrenched now, he has gone to the extreme of letting hezbollah have the run of syria . that is simply not good. and while i know there are bad guys involved in the opposition rebels, we've done a pretty good job of ferreting out who are the good guys or who are the more moderate guys within that opposition, and i'm certain that's who the president's talking about providing arms to.

>> should the president go farther, in your judgment?

>> well, i think the military alternatives have got to be examined almost day to day , and i assume that's what he's doing. and if the military says that we need to implement a no-fly zone, we ought to do it right away. it's pretty obvious they're using airpower to take out some of these 90,000 to 100,000 folks who are innocent people in syria that have been killed, and a no-fly zone may be the ultimate tactic that has to be taken.

>> senator udall, what do you say? you have raised concerns about exactly who the arms would go to, and we have a pretty rough history with regard to that when you think about afghanistan, trying to arm rebels and then having those weapons used against us later on. deputy national security adviser in the white house ben rhodes answered that question this week. here's what he said.

>> we have relationships today in syria that we didn't have six months ago that gives us greater certainty not just that we can get stuff into the country but also that we can put it in the right hands so that it's not falling into the hands of extremists.

>> senator udall, do you believe him?

>> i agree with senator graham and senator chambliss that we ought to ensure that our ultimate goal is a political settlement. we've got to tie up the unconventional and advanced conventional weapons that are there, we've got to protect the syrian people , and above all, we've got to make sure that al qaeda and other terrorist groups don't take root in syria . david, i'm open to all options, but i think that we ought to be listening to the president, we ought to be listening to military leadership. know, though, a no-fly zone and other involvement may lead to the slippery slope that others talked about, but this is a very dangerous, very fragile situation. if jordan falls, i fear for the region.