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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid