By CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Kevin Liptak
Sen. John McCain visited rebels in Syria on Monday, his communications director confirmed to CNN, making the Arizona Republican the highest ranking elected official from the United States to visit the war-torn country.
Brian Rogers confirmed a report that originally appeared on The Daily Beast, which indicated McCain entered Syria through Turkey, and remained in the country for several hours.
While in Syria, McCain met with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, according to the Daily Beast. He also met with other rebel leaders who traveled the country to meet him.
McCain is the leading voice in Congress for a greater U.S. role in ending Syria's civil war, which has been waged for more than two years. He has suggested establishing "safe zones" for Syria's rebels and taking out the regime's air assets, along with providing lethal weapons to Syria's opposition.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spent part of Memorial Day visiting Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery where service members killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. CNN’s Barbara Starr caught up with Hagel, a combat veteran who served in Vietnam, and asked him who he thinks about on Memorial Day.
More and more Americans are concerned about the situation in civil-war ravaged Syria, according to a new national survey.
But the CNN/ORC International poll, released Monday, also indicates the public remains cautious over charges that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its citizens.
According to the survey, 36% of Americans are very concerned about the current situation in Syria, with 43% saying they are somewhat concerned and nearly one in five not concerned. The 36% who are concerned is up seven percentage points from a CNN poll conducted last August.
There seems to be a generational divide, with 47% of those age 50 and older very concerned. That number drops to 28% for those under 50.