WASHINGTON, Jan 15: A senior US senator on Sunday lamented the loss of innocent lives during a US bombing raid in Pakistan, but said such casualties are unavoidable as Washington robustly pursues its “war on terror.” “It’s terrible when innocent people are killed. We regret that. But we have to do what we think is necessary to take out Al Qaeda, particularly the top operatives,” US Senator John McCain told CBS television’s “Face the Nation” program.
“We regret it. We understand the anger that people feel, but the United States’ priorities are to get rid of Al Qaeda, and this was an effort to do so,” the Republican lawmaker said.
“We apologize, but I can’t tell you that we wouldn’t do the same thing again,” McCain said.
He made his remarks after thousands of protesters took to Pakistan’s streets to condemn the US air strike that killed 18 villagers near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
“This war on terror has no boundaries,” McCain, a Vietnam War veteran, continued. “We have to go where these people are, and we have to take them out. And the fact that maybe we didn’t take them out years ago when we should have is a cautionary tale,” he told CBS.