U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Paris Saturday for a joint press conference on a potential military strike on Syria.
After both officials spoke to the press in French, Kerry reiterated in English, “We are not talking about going to war,” but insisted a “targeted” military strike was needed to hold Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “accountable” for alleged use of chemical weapons in his ongoing fight against largely Islamist rebel forces.
“There will be no boots on the ground,” he argued later in the conference, but said a limited, armed attack is still necessary.
“This is not the time to be silent spectators to slaughter,” Kerry said. “Doing nothing is far more risky than responding.”
He continued, “This is the time to pursue targeted, limited, but clear and effective response to hold dictators like Assad responsible for the atrocities they commit.”
Kerry further responded to reporter questions by claiming international support for “strong” action against Syria was growing, not receding.
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, however, pointed out the European Union has not endorsed military action and the American people resist it.
“The support at home is absolutely going the other direction,” Mitchell stated. “How can the administration take action in the face of that?”
“This case has not yet been made to the American people,” Kerry responded, but insisted, “This concerns every American’s security.”
Kerry asserted the Syrian fight was not just a distant infighting among Arab factions, but an opportunity for the spread of chemical weapons.
Kerry warned that if these chemical weapons were to fall into the hands of terrorists in the region, the entire world would need to be concerned.
“Extremists will grow in their power if we don’t take action,” he said.
Yet, as WND has reported, critics of the Obama administration’s policy on Syria are still asking for the “smoking gun” evidence that Bashar al-Assad’s regime is responsible for the chemical-weapons attack last month that reportedly killed more than 1,000 people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged the assertion of Assad’s guilt, and the Syrian president has denied it.
Assad, in fact, argues Syrian forces were in the targeted area.
“How is it possible that any country would use chemical weapons, or any weapons of mass destruction, in an area where its own forces are located?” Assad asked in the interview with Izvestia, according to a translation provided by Syria’s official news agency and published by the Los Angeles Times. “This is preposterous! These accusations are completely politicized and come on the back of the advances made by the Syrian Army against the terrorists.”
Some reports even suggest the rebel forces, which are composed of some of the very “extremists” Kerry referred to, in fact launched the recent chemical weapons attacks, rather than the Assad regime.
With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.
A video posted on YouTube, embedded below, shows Free Syrian Army, or FSA, rebel forces launching a Sarin gas attack on a Syrian village.
Another video posted on YouTube shows what appears to be Syrian rebel forces loading a canister of nerve gas on a rocket to fire presumably at civilians and possibly government forces.
As seen below, a screen capture from the video shows rebel civilian forces placing a suspicious blue canister on top of a rocket-launching device.
A separate YouTube video from Syrian television shows a government-captured arsenal of what appears to be nerve gas weapons seized from a rebel stronghold in Jobar, Syria.
The image below shows canisters in the seized rebel arsenal from Jobar that appear to resemble the canister launched by rebel forces in the first image above.
A close-up from the Syrian television news report, seen below, shows a chemical agent identified as having been made by a “Saudi factory.”
A report from the Russian Arabic-language channel RT Arabic shows captured rebel arsenals apparently with chemical agents manufactured in Saudi Arabia and gas masks, supporting Russian claims that the rebels are the culprits in the alleged chemical attack.
On Aug. 23, LiveLeak.com hosted an audio recording of a phone call broadcast on Syrian TV between a terrorist affiliated with the rebel civilian militia “Shuhada al-Bayada Battalion” in Homs, Syria, and his Saudi Arabian boss, identified as “Abulbasit.” The phone call indicates rebel-affiliated terrorists in Syria, not the Assad government, launched the chemical weapons attack in Deir Ballba in the Homs, Syria, countryside.
The terrorist said his group, which comprises 200 terrorists escaped from al-Bayadah to al-Daar al-Kabera through a tunnel, needed to buy weapons to attack Homs.
The Saudi financier, who was in Cairo, asked the Syrian terrorists to give details about his group and how it will receive the money. The Saudi admitted his support to terrorists in Daraa and the Damascus countryside. The Syrian terrorist told him that one of the achievements of his “battalion” was the use of chemical weapons in Deir Ballba.
The recorded phone call disclosed the cooperation between two terrorist groups in Syria to bring two bottles of Sarin Gas from the Barzeh neighborhood in Damascus.
Russian media sources have consistently reported Syrian military have discovered rebel warehouses containing chemical weapons agents and have documented rebel chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian civilians the military.