The former secretary of state John Kerry is reportedly “absolutely supportive” of US President Donald Trump’s missile strike on an airfield in response to this week’s alleged chemical attack in the Arab country that Washington blamed on the government.
A source close to the former American diplomat told Politico that Kerry, a longtime proponent of military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is “gratified to see that it happened quickly.”
The source added that former President Barack Obama’s secretary of state is watching to see whether more strikes will be carried out by the Pentagon, and that that Kerry “believes if executed correctly and clearly, [military action] can help reenergize the diplomatic channel” to produce a peace agreement.
Last year, Kerry warned Russia that American patience on the issue of Assad’s future was running out. “Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite, in fact it is very limited with whether or not Assad is going to be held accountable,” he said.
Another Obama administration official also approved of the US decision to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat airbase in Homs province in western Syrian early Friday.
“President Donald J. Trump was right to strike at the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using a weapon of mass destruction, the nerve agent sarin, against its own people,” Antony Blinken, a former deputy secretary of state who worked with Kerry, wrote in an op-ed.
Former deputy US secretary of state Antony Blinken
However, Blinken added that the real test for the president is what comes after the missile attack, saying that Trump has shown “a total lack of interest” in working with other countries to resolve the Syrian crisis.
The missiles were launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the eastern Mediterranean. The strike killed nine civilians, including four children on Friday, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA. It also destroyed as many as 20 Syrian aircraft.
President Trump ordered the strike just a day after he pointed the finger at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the deadly attack which killed at least 70 people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib.
Trump said the operation was in response to the chemical attack in Idlib province. The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for that attack.
Since March 2011, the United States and its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have been conducting a proxy war against the Syrian people and government.
The years-long conflict has left more than 470,000 Syrians dead and half of the country’s population of about 23 million displaced within or beyond the Arab country’s borders.
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