Kerry to Syria: 'Threat of Force Is Real'
Secretary warns of consequences if US-Russia deal isn't carried out
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2013 12:13 PM CDT
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks to his car after arriving at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. Kerry arrived in Israel for a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister...   (Larry Downing)

(Newser) – Secretary of State John Kerry today sent a strong warning to Syria, saying "the threat of force is real" if it does not carry out an internationally brokered agreement to hand over its chemical weapons. Kerry issued the warning during a stop in Jerusalem, where he briefed jittery Israeli leaders on the new US-Russian plan to rid neighboring Syria of its chemical weapons by the middle of next year. In comments aimed at his hosts, Kerry said the deal also served as a "marker" for the international community as it deals with Iran's suspect nuclear program. "We cannot have hollow words in the conduct of international affairs," Kerry said.

"These are crimes against humanity and they cannot be tolerated," Kerry warned. The Syria deal was greeted with cautious optimism in Israel, where leaders expressed satisfaction that Syria, a bitter enemy, could be stripped of dangerous weapons but also pessimism about whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will comply. Meanwhile, Syria's national reconciliation minister, Ali Haidar, hailed the US-Russia deal as a "victory" for his nation. "On the one hand they will help Syrians get out of the crisis, and on the other hand, they averted a war against Syria by removing the pretext for those who wanted to unleash one." Click for President Obama's comments this morning on the Syria deal.

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Showing 3 of 30 comments
angelakolios
Sep 16, 2013 2:24 PM CDT
Mr. Kerry I expect your rich step-sons the Heinz boys to be out in front fighting with the Syrian rebels.
TMalcolmGray
Sep 16, 2013 10:37 AM CDT
Stop making threats Secretary Kerry! Especially ones that might put American lives at risk. The American people keep saying we don't want to have anything to do with Syria yet you, Sen. John McCain and your boss keep ignoring us. No means NO!!! The Administration was suppose to get us out of all these wars in the middle east, not put us in another.
THEVOICE
Sep 16, 2013 6:15 AM CDT
WHO ARE YOU HATEFUL PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO RESPECT FOR OUR BELOVED "PRESIDENT" OBAMA OR MEMBERS OF HIS CABINET? YOU SHOW THE WORLD THAT AMERICANS DON'T RESPECT THEIR OWN POLITICAL LEADERS AND AS A RESULT SYRIA AND THE LIKE HAVE NO RESPECT FOR AMERICA. THE WAR IS INSIDE AMERICA AND IS STARTED BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU, U, YOU!