'Strong evidence' Syria used chemical weapons: Kerry

'Strong evidence' Syria used chemical weapons: Kerry

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Strong evidence Syria used chemical weapons: Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement prior to a bilateral meeting with Republic of Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides at the State Department May 10. AFP photo

US Secretary of State John Kerry said May 10 there was "strong evidence" that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against rebel forces.

"This fight is about the terrible choices that the Assad regime has made with its willingness to kill anywhere... to use gas, which we believe there is strong evidence of use of," Kerry said during a Google+ hangout.

The US government cited for the first time two weeks ago the Syrian regime's possible use of chemical weapons against its own people, but President Barack Obama stressed there was insufficient proof to determine whether a "red line" had been crossed.

In an interview published May 9, Vice President Joe Biden said the Obama administration was treading cautiously on Syria after what it sees as Washington's past errors in the Iraq invasion and occupation.

Insisting that President Barack Obama and his team had helped restore America's image in the world, Biden told Rolling Stone magazine that "we don't want to blow it like the last administration did in Iraq, saying 'weapons of mass destruction.'"

In other remarks at Friday's Google+ hangout, Kerry turned to Syria's future, saying: "If you're willing to compromise in the choosing of the people who will run that transitional government and you choose in good faith people who are prepared to put in front of the people of Syria a fair choice about who their leader ought to be, then I believe you could avoid war and you could have a settlement."