John Kerry on Syrian Chemical Weapons 'It's Not a Game, It's Real'

Secretary of state says U.N. weapons inspectors report strengthens case against Assad regime.
16:48 | 09/19/13

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Transcript for John Kerry on Syrian Chemical Weapons 'It's Not a Game, It's Real'
This is a special report from ABC news. Well -- -- Hernandez in New York with an ABC news digital special report secretary of state John -- about to make this statement on Syria at the State Department. Secretary Kerry entering the briefing room already. Let's listen -- State senate -- witnessed. Some great debates. And some of the best senators. There. Produce some of the best debates that I've seen. Sometimes. And some of the senators I learn. Like debate about just about anything. As my pal John McCain -- fond -- saying a fight not joined. This fight not enjoyed. But it was also in the senate where I personally heard former ambassador the United Nations turned senator from New York. Daniel Patrick Moran. End of more than a few debates with his own bottom line reminder. You are entitled to your own opinion. But you're not entitled to your own facts. And those words are really worth using and focusing on as we head into next week's. -- general assembly meeting in New York the United Nations. We really don't have time today to pretend that anyone can have their own set of facts. Approaching the issue of chemical weapons in Syria. This fight about Syria's chemical weapons is not a game. It's real it's important. It's important to the lives of people in Syria it's important to the region it's important to the world. That this be enforced this agreement that we came out of Geneva -- For many weeks we heard from Russia and from others. Wait for the UN report. Those -- the outside experts that's a quote. That is the independent gold standard. That's a quote. Well despite the efforts of some to suggest otherwise. Thanks to this week's long awaited UN report. The facts in Syria only grew clearer and the case only grew more compelling. The findings in the cells to report -- is categorical. As they were condensing. Every single data point the types of munitions and launchers that we use. Their origins. They're trajectory. There markings. And the confirmation of siren. Every single bit of that confirms. What we already knew and what we told America in the world. He confirms what we have brought to the attention of our congress. The American people. And the rest of the world. The UN report confirms unequivocally. That chemical weapons including the nerve a -- -- We're used in Syria. And despite the regime's best efforts. To shell the area and destroy the evidence. The UN interviewed more than fifty. Survivors. Patients. Victims. Health workers first responders. They documented munitions. And sub components. They -- symptoms of survivors. Analyze hair. Urine and blood samples. And they analyzed thirty soil and environmental samples. And what -- did learn. They returned with several crucial details. That confirmed that the Assad regime. Is guilty of carrying out that attack even though. That was not. The mandate. Of the UN report. But anybody who reads the facts and puts the dots together which is easy to do and they made it easy to do. Understands. What those facts -- We the United States. Have associated one of the munitions identified in the UN report the 122. Millimeter -- rocket. With previous Assad regime attacks. There's no indication. None. That the opposition is -- possession. Or has launched. A CW variant of these rockets. Such as the kind that was used in the 21 of August attack. Equally significant. The environmental. Chemical and medical samples that the UN investigators collected. Provide clear and compelling evidence. That the surface to surface rockets used in this attack. Contained the nerve agents Aaron. We know the Assad regime possesses Arab. And there's not a shred of evidence. However. That the opposition. Does. And rocket components identified in the ground photos. Taken at the alleged chemical weapons impact location areas. Are associated. With the unique type of rocket launcher. That we and we know the Assad regime has. We have observed. These exact type of rocket launchers. At the Assad regime facilities in Damascus. And in the area around the -- first of August. So there you have it. Sarin was used. Sarin killed. The world can decide whether it was used by the regime which has used chemical weapons before the regime which had the rockets. And the weapons. Or whether the opposition. Secretly went unnoticed into territory they don't control to fire rockets they don't have containing Sarin that they don't possess. To kill their own people and that without even being noticed. They just dissembled at all a packed up and got out of that senator Damascus controlled by us. Please. This has been complicated. Where we said we know what is true we meant it. And now before I head to New York for the UN general assembly. We have a definitive UN report strengthening the case. And solidifying. Our resolve. Now the test votes. The Security Council must be prepared to act next week. It is vital for the international community to stand up and speak out. In the strongest possible terms about the importance of enforceable action action. To rid the world. Of Syria's chemical weapons. So I would say -- the community of nations. Tied to short. Let's not spend. Time debating what we already know. Instead. We have to recognize that the world is watching. To see whether we can avert military action. And achieved through peaceful means. Even more than what those military strikes promised. The complete removal of Syria's chemical weapons is possible here through peaceful -- And that will be determined by the resolve of the United Nations. To follow through with the agreement that Russia in the United States reached in Geneva. An agreement that clearly said this must be enforceable. It must be done the soonest possible. It must be real. We need every once helped. In order to see that the Security Council lives up to its founding values. And passes a binding resolution. That codified as the strongest possible mechanism. To achieve that goal and to achieve it rapidly. We need to make the Geneva agreement meaningful. And to make it meaningful in order to eliminate. Serious. CW. Program. And to do it with transparency. And with the accountability the full accountability that is demanded here. It is important. That we accomplish the goals. In new York and accomplish it as rapidly as possible thank you all. Could you. A related subject readers asking whether you think the president. Might meet with president Hadi to test the seriousness of what Iran has -- If it is it positive sign coming from your honey in these -- -- it's been very positive everything is best news ago. All right they have -- secretary of state John Kerry talking about the UN report released Monday. Saying it points definitively not just that Sarin gas was used on the August 21 attack in Syria but. That the Asad regime. Was behind the attack Kerry saying if you put the dots together it is clear. He -- regime was behind the attack right now let's bring in Dana Hughes. At the State Department in ABC's David -- the White House for more -- let's go to you first what triggered today's remarks by secretary carried a report. Came out earlier this week why today. I think that secretary -- -- to build on the momentum of the of the attention being paid to this. And with next week's UN general assembly he really wants to drive home the point that. UN Security Council needs to work together to live up to the agreement that Russia and the United States came up with. And he he really wants to make sure that. The UN Security Council is very clear about. Why it needs to do to make sure that it holds Syria accountable for what it has agreed to which is destroying its chemical weapons. -- Syrian president Bashar -- -- -- the process to move this chemical weapons out of Syria under a deal hatched between Russia the United States and and -- will take more than a year and cost a billion dollars has the State Department reacted to that. Well the State Department hasn't had a specific reaction yet to. Those numbers but you have to remember that of the -- outside -- said a lot of things and -- entirely clear where he got that exact number forum and where he's -- the exact timeline now. The timeline that the Russians and the Americans have agreed to just run about a year. They're working on a timeline where all of serious chemical weapons should be. Under control and primarily destroyed and they're hoping by June of next year so. That matches more or less with what it president -- said. As for the one billion dollars he was throwing out a very high number he also said that. United States should pay for it if that's something that they are that they are very interested in having happened. And so you know there's a lot of things that he said in that interview including that anyone can be president of Syria and that. Comparing the rebel movement in Syria to use the 1990s. Rodney King the -- so yet to take what he says with a bit of a grain of salt. Right Danny Hughes thank you so much and when it. Asked -- some questions now -- in the report. Has confirmed what the US has said all along about the attacks coming from the Asad regime which wasn't even. Supposed to be the scope of their report yet they do make clear kind of very down in the how does that change the president's stance as this means that perhaps you won't go forward with the effort to peacefully remove those -- But I want to be clear that UN report did not look at blame four who use the chemical weapons in that August when he first attack but it is certainly. This administration's. Claim that it does point all indications -- that report -- -- Charlotte sobbed as we've been hearing from officials here at the White House that. That UN report that came out this week is just one more piece of the puzzle one more shred of evidence to build. Their case when they head to the UN on Monday. That the international community should be united. And putting pressure on sot I just gotta say that this moment from secretary -- is very significant. Ahead of the meeting that begins on Monday I think the US is starting to sense perhaps. A little bit of wavering from -- -- we know that he was -- to report the locations of all of this chemical stockpiles by Saturday. That deadline is not going to be met the US city trying to kind of -- that saying that perhaps. -- monitoring the next few days and he he could still show that he's. Willing to play ball here but also the administration is looking to garner more support -- starting on Monday and Tuesday at the UN for that resolution. Which would raise the stakes for -- side to honors commitments time. And was this perhaps carried trying to drum up support in light of these developments. For the president's which now plan B which is. The series of aerial attacks on Syria. That's right I think -- was definitely looking back to -- portrayed tough line here after several days of diplomacy and thinks that sort of faded out of the headlines here in the United States and around the world he's -- -- -- that back up remind everybody that -- serious that President Obama is serious. That that threat of force is still on the table we heard from officials here at the White House this week that the military is still. At that elevated threat level in the Mediterranean Sea our resources are still there. Should President Obama decide to strike. But I think officials are also a little concerned with what they're hearing from Russia of course the Russians helped broker this deal we heard from president who last night he said. He isn't even 100% confident. For the -- will abide by his promises. -- Is -- president under. More or less pressure now obviously this never quite got cash out in the senate he now faced criticism from the former -- former Defense Secretary. Where does he stand right now in terms of support on this issue in Washington. Well right now what official Washington and Capitol Hill are are pretty much behind the president -- wanted to see this diplomatic process play out of course there are still. Some grumbling in certain -- that perhaps he wasn't tough enough to begin with. That is his policy to toward Syria has wavered his taking -- the zigzag course. There are definitely those complaints but right now there seems to be some unity here in Washington around this policy -- -- play out. With a good dose of skepticism. That data -- will actually do what he says he's gonna do so definitely kind of a cautious optimism here in Washington times. Now we -- hearing. President -- what kind of an impact defending has that had. That's right well John McCain sort of pointed to follow suit after the Russian president wrote that sort of scathing op Ed in the New York Times last week in which she. Question American exceptional -- and the president Obama's speech the nation John McCain took a pretty hard line against the Russian president. The catch is that the newspaper that he publicists and isn't really read by a lot of Russians it. It its distribution is relatively limited so it's unclear. What sort of a splash his op Ed made but certainly symbolic in that John McCain is trying to respond to the Russian president time. All right finally got to take this forward what's happening next in terms of -- John Kerry -- has some important meetings self. That's right all eyes are going to be on the United Nations next week in New York Monday Tuesday the big summit that happens every year the United Nations General Assembly. That's when we'll see a lot of jockeying among nations over Syria trying to put together that resolution. One interest -- side note of that and you heard -- there just at the tail end of Kerry's press conference is all eyes are also going to be on President Obama and the new or Iranian President. Hassan who -- honey there's a lot of speculation that the two could meet in person have a handshake some sort of contact. It would be the first time in more than thirty years. That there would be such a contact if it does take place that definitely something to look for next three time. All right thank you ABC's Devin -- in Washington. And you can of course get a complete recap right here on For now I'm -- and is in New York with his ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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