There are growing calls for military intervention in Syria to stop the brutal suppression of protests agains the regime of Bashar al-Assad, according to US Senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

“TheAl-Assad regime has spilled too much blood to stay in power,” said McCain, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Jordan on 23 October. “There is no moral distinction between the situation in Syria and in Libya.”

He added that there were growing calls for a foreign intervention after the success of the operation to support Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) and stop Libya government forces attacking civilians.

McCain added that the US was supportive of the goals of demonstrators, who have taken to the streets of nations across the Arab region, and already led to regime change in three countries. He added that the best tool the US had to support protesters was free trade, and suggested that the US could look at region-wide free trade agreements with North Africa, and a separate agreement with the countries of the GCC plus Iraq.