Sen. John McCain on Friday said Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Qadhafi’s troops are his heroes.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee made the remark after arriving in the opposition capital of Benghazi in the rebel-held eastern Libya.

McCain said he planned to meet with the rebel National Transition Council, the de-facto government in the eastern half of the country, and members of the rebel military.

McCain spoke as he was walking out of a local hotel in Benghazi. He was travelling in an armored Mercedes jeep and had a security detail. A few Libyans waved American flags as his vehicle drove past.

McCain has been one of the strongest proponents in Congress of U.S. military intervention in Libya.

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