WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says a U.S. military strike threatened last summer that would have punished Syrian President Bashar Assad for launching a chemical attack against opposition forces would not have stopped Syria's civil war.
Kerry told the Senate that several days of strikes would not have forced Assad to change course in the war, now in its fourth year.
The U.S. says Assad's government unleashed a chemical attack last Aug. 21 and says it killed more than 1,000 people. Independent estimates are lower.
President Barack Obama had threatened to launch a missile strike in response but pulled back because he decided congressional approval was necessary. Kerry later negotiated a deal for Assad to get rid of his chemical weapons. About half the weapons have been removed so far.