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Two U.S. senators said the United States should arm Syrian rebels, a plan that got a dubious reception from the top military brass and preceded a sharp warning from China's national paper that Western support could lead to a civil war. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham said on Sunday that arming the Syrian opposition could, in turn, weaken Iran, which is supporting the Syrian government. "I believe there are ways to get weapons to the opposition without direct United States involvement," McCain said, according to The New York Times. Meanwhile, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said any decision to arm rebels there would be "premature" because it was not totally clear who they were. "I would challenge anyone to clearly identify for me the opposition movement in Syria at this point," Dempsey told CNN's Fareed Zakaria. China, a staunch supporter of the Syrian government, issued a warning in its national press on Monday, with a commentary on the front page of The People's Daily (a Communist Party mouthpiece), warning that "if Western countries continue to fully support Syria's opposition, then in the end a large-scale civil war will erupt and there will be no way to thus avoid the possibility of foreign armed intervention."

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