Sec. Kerry claims “threat of force is real” in Syria

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JERUSALEM (CBS)– U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
on Sunday sent a strong warning to Syria, saying “the threat of force is
real” if it does not carry out an internationally brokered agreement to
hand over its chemical weapons.

Kerry issued the warning during a stop in Jerusalem to discuss the crisis in Syria, where he briefed jittery Israeli leaders on the new U.S.-Russian plan to rid neighboring Syria of its chemical weapons by the middle of next year. In comments aimed at his hosts, Kerry said the deal also served as a “marker” for the international community as it deals with Iran’s suspect nuclear program.

“We cannot have hollow words in the conduct of international affairs,” Kerry said.

The U.S. has been formulating its response to an alleged chemical attack carried out by Syrian forces that killed hundreds of civilians last month. “These are crimes against humanity and they cannot be tolerated,” Kerry warned.

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