Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee, took to the floor of the Senate today and staked out what will prove to be the latest in a series of increasingly hawkish stances he has taken on foreign intervention. Politico reports:

“Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. The only realistic way to do so is with foreign airpower,” McCain, a Vietnam war veteran and the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“Therefore, at the request of [opposition forces], the United States should lead an international effort to protect key population centers in Syria, especially in the north, through airstrikes on Assad’s forces.”

McCain’s call for military action in Syria makes him the first politician in the United States to officially suggest intervening in the war-torn Middle Eastern country. He was also among the first to call for military action in Libya, despite having previously promised to secure military hardware for deposed Libyan Dictator Muammar Qadhafi.

McCain’s stance suggesting United States support for the Syrian rebels is likely to raise some eyebrows, given other allies the Syrian rebel force has picked up over the past few months. As the Blaze itself reported last month, Al Qaeda operatives have joined the Syrian rebel force in protest of the “secular” Assad regime.