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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Kerry: Threat of Force Against Syria is Real

September 15, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the threat of force against Syria is a real one, and strikes may still be carried out if that country fails to live up to its agreement to rid itself of chemical weapons.

Kerry was in Jerusalem Sunday and further stated that the government of Bashar al-Assad needs to understand that the United States is committed to ensuring that Syria's chemical weapons are turned over and destroyed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Kerry while he was in Jerusalem, and Netanyahu said that it is deeds, not words, that count. He said Syria proves that if rogue regimes have weapons of mass destruction, they will use them.

Netanyahu also said that the world's determination in handling Syria will have a direct impact on Iran, which is suspected of attempting to build a nuclear weapon. Israel sees Iran as a direct threat to its existence.

The United States and Russia announced an agreement on Saturday on a plan to halt Syria's chemical weapons program. It includes a requirement that the Assad government submit a comprehensive list of all the chemical weapons in its arsenal within one week.

Syria is promising to comply. National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar tells Russia's Ria Novosti news agency that that the agreement is a victory for Syria because it prevents a war being waged against the country and takes away an excuse from those whom he claims are looking to start a war.

But the civil war in Syria is showing no signs of easing; on Sunday, government warplanes bombed rebel areas outside Damascus. There is no word so far on casualties.

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