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Kerry: US, Europe Have No ‘Big Appetite’ for Military Action in Syria

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson give a joint press conference after a meeting on the situation in Syria at Lancaster House in London Oct. 16, 2016.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson give a joint press conference after a meeting on the situation in Syria at Lancaster House in London Oct. 16, 2016.

Secretary of State John Kerry says all options remain open for the U.S. and its allies in Syria, but he admits the United States and Europe have no ‘big appetite’ for military action, even as Russia refuses to back down.

Kerry held talks in London Sunday with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a day after Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other top diplomats in Switzerland.

Kerry said no one should be "lighting a fire" under a civil war or pitting two superpowers against each other.

"When a great power is involved in a fight like this, as Russia has chosen to be by going there (Syria) and then putting its missiles in place in order to threaten people against military action, it raises the stakes of confrontation," Kerry said Sunday.

‘Crimes against humanity’

Kerry has shown clear frustration with events in Syria - the refugee crisis, the slaughter of civilians in Aleppo, Russian military action on the side of the Assad regime, truce breakdowns and Washington's limited options to stop the bloodshed.

In this picture provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, Syrian Civil Defense workers search through the rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 12, 2016.

In this picture provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, Syrian Civil Defense workers search through the rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 12, 2016.


"It's a humanitarian disaster ... and it could stop tomorrow if Russia and the Assad regime were to behave according to any norm or standard of decency," Kerry said Sunday. "Instead we see what can only be described as crimes against humanity taking place on a daily basis - when a hospital gets bombed, when children are bombed, when gas, which is outlawed by the chemical convention, is used against human beings in Aleppo or elsewhere in the country."
Kerry warned of sanctions against Syria and Russia over the situation in Aleppo.

He also said that Saturday's talks in Switzerland produced "several ideas that need to be quickly followed up." But he gave no details.

Also Sunday, Turkey's foreign minister announced that Turkish-backed Syrian rebels captured the symbolically important northern Syrian town of Dabiq from Islamic State.

Dabiq is 10 kilometers from the Turkish border.

Map showing control areas around the Syrain city of Aleppo, as of Oct. 13, 2016

Map showing control areas around the Syrain city of Aleppo, as of Oct. 13, 2016

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