News / Middle East

Kerry Says Inaction Would 'Congratulate' Assad for Chemical Attack

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during his joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (not pictured) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London September 9, 2013.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during his joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (not pictured) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London September 9, 2013.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during his joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (not pictured) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London September 9, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during his joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (not pictured) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London September 9, 2013.
Al Pessin
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has offered a passionate case for military action against the Syrian government, saying there is solid proof of its responsibility for the chemical weapons attack last month. He says inaction would send a “congratulatory message” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other U.S. adversaries in the Middle East.

Kerry spoke in London where he concluded a series of meetings with European and Middle Eastern leaders.
 
The U.S. top diplomat said Washington has “powerful” evidence that the Syrian government ordered the chemical weapons attack.
 
“We have high level regime [officials] that have been caught giving these instructions and engaging in these instructions and engaging in these preparations, with results going directly to President Assad,” said he.
 
Kerry rejected denials and threats of retaliation from Assad, issued during an interview with CBS News, saying that the Syrian leader has no credibility.
 
And the secretary warned of serious consequences in Syria and beyond if the international community does not respond.
 
“If you want to send Iran and Hezbollah and Assad a congratulatory message, 'You guys can do what you want.' You'd say, 'don't do anything.' We believe that's dangerous and we will face this down the road in some more significant way if we're not prepared to take some kind of a stand now,” said the U.S. secretary of state.

Kerry said Syria could avoid an attack by turning over all its chemical weapons to the international community and allowing inspections, but he does not expect that to happen.

Syria's stance
 
Earlier Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said a U.S. military strike could thwart attempts to convene a peace conference in Geneva to negotiate a resolution to the Syrian conflict.
 
Speaking at a joint news conference in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Syrian foreign minister suggested the chemical attack that Washington blames on President Assad was a pretext to encourage military intervention and asked whether U.S. President Barack Obama was backing terrorists.
 
Al-Moallem said Syria was perfectly entitled to ask a question: what are the true intentions of the United States who want to start aggression siding with the al-Nusra Front and other similar organizations?
 
Secretary Kerry would not predict whether Obama will order a military strike on Syria if he does not get congressional approval. But he did say a strike that degrades the Syrian government's military capability could help push it into peace talks, which he said is the only way to truly end the country's more than two-year-long civil war.
 
The secretary said key members of the U.S. Congress have seen some secret evidence that has not been made public in order to protect intelligence gathering methods. And, a former senator himself, Kerry said he understands the reluctance of some members, and many other Americans, not to get involved in another Middle Eastern war.
 
“But that's not what we're talking about. What we have to do is make clear to people that we're not talking about war, we're not going to war, we will not put people at risk in that way. We will be able to hold Bashar Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short term kind of effort,” said he.
 
Kerry has brought that message to European and Middle Eastern leaders during a series of meetings in Europe over the last several days, and said he received support from many of them.
 
He also had what he called a long, productive and informative meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday evening. He said he is encouraged by the determination of Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to continue their talks in spite of disputes, and said he hopes the meetings will proceed “thoughtfully” and “quietly” in the coming months.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kerry from: Whitehouse
September 09, 2013 5:14 PM
I'm a closet WARMONGER!!!!


by: Sick Regime from: USA
September 09, 2013 11:15 AM
Most Americans are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program known as Agenda 21. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development created Agenda 21 as a sustainability agenda which is arguably an amalgamation of socialism and extreme environmentalism brushed with anti-American, anti-capitalist overtones.


by: NO WAR from: USA
September 09, 2013 10:40 AM
The Russian government has given evidence to the UN that conclusively proves that the al-Nusra, al-Qaeda affiliated invaders are responsible for the attack. There is also conclusive proof that the “rebels” have chemical weapons. In addition, a highly regarded journalist has reported, using direct quotes and the names of al-Nusra fighters, that the chemical weapons were given to al-Nusra by Saudi Arabia without proper handling instructions, and that an accidental explosion occurred before al-Nusra could use the Saudi-supplied weapons to frame-up the Assad government.

However the deaths were caused, they are unfortunate, but no more so that the deaths that Obama has caused in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, and Syria. The proven deaths for which Obama is responsible are many times the unproven deaths that Obama attributes without evidence to Assad.

The indisputable fact is that Syrian deaths occur only because Washington initiated the invasion of Syria by external forces similar to the ones that Washington used against Libya. However the deaths occurred, the deaths are the doings of the criminal Obama Regime. Without the criminal Obama Regime seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government, there would be no deaths by chemical weapons or by any other means. This was a war initiated by Washington, Israel, Israel’s neoconservative fifth column inside America and the White House, and the captive western media that is bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby.

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 09, 2013 11:37 AM
Are you sure you're not writing like a paid agent too? Who's paying for your services, Russia, China, or Bashar al Assad? How did Obama become responsible for those deaths in Syria, by tripping over his own red line? O yeah, you do have a president who sets a red line in theory and doesn't think it was one day going to be crossed. The illusion that the red line was set by the president of the powerful USA made him think it wasn't going to be violated.

Now he's in crossroads looking for an excuse to say it was not his red line but an international red line set when the UN agreed non-proliferation of WMDs. Please keep Israel out of your mess, it has no part in it. Your president is looking for this opportunity to exit. Let him crack his brain and wriggle out of this again. For sure we know he's not going to war, that's why the rigmarole.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Goghi
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid