August 30, 2013 / 5:30 PM / 6 years ago

Kerry makes case for limited military action on Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the situation in Syria at the State Department in Washington, August 30, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday made a broad case for limited U.S. military action against Syria for its suspected use of chemical weapons, saying it could not go unpunished for such a “crime against humanity.”

Kerry also stressed that anything the United States might do would be carefully tailored and would not in any way resemble the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, nor its intervention to help topple former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

“It will not involve any boots on the ground. It will not be open-ended. And it will not assume responsibility for a civil war that is already well underway,” Kerry said of any action U.S. President Barack Obama might pursue.

“Any action that he might decide to take will be (a) limited and tailored response to ensure that a despot’s brutal and flagrant use of chemical weapons is held accountable,” he added in a brief and forceful televised speech at the U.S. State Department. He said other nations that might use weapons of mass destruction were watching to see if Syria escaped with impunity.

Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; editing by Christopher Wilson and Jackie Frank

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