Kerry: US Air Strikes on Syria Would not be 'Devastating'

Kerry: US Air Strikes on Syria Would not be 'Devastating'

Threatened military strikes against Syria would not have affected the course of the country’s civil war, US Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry said US military action — ultimately abandoned by President Barack Obama at the 11th hour last year — would not have had a “devastating impact” on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Obama scrapped plans to launch strikes against Syria after Syria’s key ally Russia helped broker a deal to dismantle Damascus’s chemical weapons arsenal.

At the time, Kerry had argued for military strikes over a limited period against Syria.

Kerry told the Senate on Tuesday that such a military action would only had had a limited effect.

Under the international agreement brokered instead of military strikes, 54 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal had now been removed, Kerry said.

Kerry’s comments came after Obama last month defended the decision not to launch military strikes, stating that it would not have prevented the “hardship” seen in Syria.

Obama also said the United States had “limits” after struggling through more than a decade of military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.