Kerry urges Security Council to be prepared to act on Syria

"The Security Council must be prepared to act next week," on Syria, US Secretary of State Kerry said on Thursday.

Kerry urges Security Council to be prepared to act on Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday "The Security Council must be prepared to act next week," on Syria.

"The Security Council must be prepared to act next week. It is vital for the international community to stand up and speak out in the strongest possible terms about the importance of enforceable action to rid the world of Syria's chemical weapons," Kerry said at a press conference

"When we said we know what is true, we meant it. And now before I head to New York for the U.N. General Assembly, we have a definitive U.N. report strengthening the case and solidifying our resolve," Kerry said.

"So I would say to the community of nations, time is short. Let's not spend time debating what we already know."

Kerry pointed out "Instead, we have to recognize that the world is watching to see whether we can avert military action and achieve through peaceful means even more than what those military strikes promise."

"As we head into next week's General Assembly meeting in New York of the United Nations, we really don't have time today to pretend that anyone can have their own set of facts approaching the issue of chemical weapons in Syria," Kerry said.

"This fight about Syria's chemical weapons is not a game. It's real. It's important. It's important to the lives of people in Syria, it's important to the region, it's important to the world that this be enforced -- this agreement that we came out of Geneva with," said Kerry.

About UN report on Syria, Kerry said, "The findings in the Sellstrom report were as categorical as they were convincing. Every single data point -- the types of munitions and launchers that were used, their origins, their trajectory, their markings, and the confirmation of sarin -- every single bit of it confirms what we already knew and what we told America and the world. It confirms what we have brought to the attention of our Congress, the American people and the rest of the world."

 "UN report confirms unequivocably that chemical weapons were used in Syria" 

Kerry said "The U.N. report confirms unequivocably that chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, were used in Syria". 

"Despite the regime's best efforts to shell the area and destroy the evidence, the U.N. interviewed more than 50 survivors -- patients, victims, health workers, first responders. They documented munitions and subcomponents. They assessed symptoms of survivors, analyzed hair, urine, blood samples, and they analyzed 30 soil and environmental samples," Kerry added.

"Assad regime is guilty of carrying out that attack"

Kerry said, UN team "returned with several crucial details that confirmed that the Assad regime is guilty of carrying out that attack."

"Even though that was not the mandate of the U.N. report. But anybody who reads the facts and puts the dots together -- which is easy to do and they made it easy to do -- understands what those facts mean," Kerry said.

"There's no indication -- none -- that the opposition is in possession or has launched a CW variant of these rockets, such as the kind that was used in the 21st of August attack," Kerry said.

 "There's no a shred of evidence that the opposition" possesses sarin

Kerry said, "Equally significant, the environmental chemical and medical samples that the U.N. investigators collected provide clear and compelling evidence that the surface-to-surface rockets used in this attack contain the nerve agent sarin. We know the Assad regime possesses sarin. And there's no a shred of evidence, however, that the opposition does."

"And rocket components identified in the ground photos taken at the alleged chemical weapons impact location areas are associated with the unique type of rocket launcher that we know the Assad regime has. We have observed these exact type of rocket launchers at the Assad regime facilities in Damascus and in the area around the 21st of August," Kerry said.

"Sarin killed"

"Sarin was used. Sarin killed. The world can decide whether it was used by the regime, which has used chemical weapons before, the regime which had the rockets and the weapons, or whether the opposition secretly went unnoticed into territory they don't control to fire rockets they don't have, containing sarin that they don't possess to kill their own people. And then, without even being noticed, they just disassembled it all and packed up and got out of the center of Damascus controlled by Assad," Kerry highlighted.

Geneva Agreement

"A complete removal of Syria's chemical weapons is possible here, through peaceful means. And that will be determined by the resolve of the United Nations to follow through on the agreement that Russia and the United States reached in Geneva -- an agreement that clearly said this must be enforceable, it must be done as soon as possible, it must be real," Kerry said.

Kerry said "We need everyone's help in order to see that the Security Council lives up to its founding values and passes a binding resolution that codifies the strongest possible mechanism to achieve the goal, and to achieve it rapidly. We need to make the Geneva agreement meaningful".

For elimination of Syria's CW, Kerry said, "to make it meaningful in order to eliminate Syria's CW program and to do it with transparency and with the accountability, the full accountability that is demanded here, it is important that we accomplish the goal in New York and accomplish it as rapidly as possible."

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