John Kerry to Bashar Assad: Hand Over Weapons or Face “Unbelievably Small” Attack

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has one week to hand over all chemical weapons to avoid a military attack.

However, the secretary of state said he doesn’t expect Assad to comply.

Kerry joined UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in London on Monday to speak on the crisis in Syria. This week is an important one as the U.S. Senate is due to vote this week on whether to approve an attack. Kerry was unsure on whether President Barack Obama would ignore the legislative chamber if it were to reject an attack.

He added that the U.S. was planning an “unbelievably small” attack on Syria.

“We will be able to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war,” Kerry said. “That is exactly what we are talking about doing – an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

Kerry’s comments on the “unbelievably small” attack on Syria quickly drew criticism from Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich), who appeared on Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I don’t understand what he means by that,” Rogers said. “I don’t think describing the size or effort of what our target sets are or what ship fires what missile is in our national security interest, candidly. And again, this is part of the problem. That’s a very confusing message – certainly a confusing message to me that he would offer that as somebody who believes this is in our national security interest.”

On Monday’s message, Kerry also warned other nations that if were not prepared to act on the issue of chemical weapons, “you are giving people complete license to do whatever they want and to feel so they can do with impunity.”

Sources: The Guardian, Morning Joe