A delegation of US senators led by John McCain have met separately with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman and Qatar’s emir, part of a Middle East tour focusing on training the so-called moderate militants in Syria.
A message on the official Twitter feed for McCain, R-Arizona, said that the US delegation met with the head of the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed al-Jarba, and the commander of Saudi Arabia’s training and equipment program. A photo posted on the account showed the senators eating a feast with Saudi royals.
The US senators also met in neighboring Qatar with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the country’s emir. The official Qatar News Agency said they discussed “Qatari-U.S. relations and means to develop them.”
The delegation included Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, Angus King, I-Maine, and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, the state news agency reported. All sit on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, which McCain chairs.
The meetings took place Saturday, a day after the Pentagon said that as many as 1,000 U.S. troops and support personnel would be sent to sites in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to help train select Syrian militants they claim as being moderate.