09/19/2013 03:17 pm ET Updated Sep 19, 2013

John Kerry On Syria: 'Sarin Was Used. Sarin Killed.'

Secretary of State John Kerry gave a statement on Syria Thursday, pushing a U.N. report that confirmed the use of chemical weapons in the country.

"Despite the efforts of some to suggest otherwise, thanks to this week's long-awaited, U.N. report, the facts in Syria only grew clearer and the case only grew more compelling," Kerry said.

"The U.N. report confirms unequivocally that chemical weapons, including sarin, were used in Syria," Kerry continued.

Kerry's speech pushed back against Russian and Syrian claims that Syrian rebels used chemical weapons. Kerry said there's no evidence the Syrian opposition can carry out a chemical weapons attack.

"We know the Assad regime possesses sarin and there's not a shred of evidence, however, that the opposition does," Kerry said.

"So there you have it. Sarin was used. Sarin killed," Kerry said.

Kerry said the U.N. Security Council "must be prepared" to act.

"Time is short. Let's not spend it debating what we already know," Kerry said.

"The complete removal of Syria's chemical weapons is possible here through peaceful means," he continued.

Kerry's statement came after a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Below, more from the AP:

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.N. General Assembly should move swiftly to approve a U.S.-Russia deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, saying that there is no time to argue with those who are remain unconvinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government carried out a chemical attack last month.

Speaking Thursday at the State Department, Kerry didn't mention Russian President Vladimir Putin, but his remarks were a clear attempt to rebut Putin's statement that Russia has strong ground to believe that Syrian rebels – not Assad – were responsible for the attack.

Putin says the perpetrators relied on "primitive" technology using old Soviet-made ammunition no longer in the Syrian army's inventory.

Kerry says the U.S. believes a report by U.N. inspectors proves Assad conducted the attack.

This post has been updated with more from the AP. Luke Johnson contributed to this report.



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