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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid