The “bellicose” rhetoric I described here isn’t, of course, limited to Ashton Carter. Secretary of State John Kerry has now jumped out into the spotlight with some threatening discourse of his own, vowing that Syrian President Bashar Assad must accept a “transitional” government (that is to say, he must, in effect, step down) or there will be “repercussions.” Here is what Reuters reports:
“If Assad does not adhere to this, there will clearly be repercussions, and one of them may be the total destruction of the ceasefire and then go back to war,” Kerry told reporters a day after emergency meetings in Geneva.
“I don’t think Russia wants that. I don’t think Assad is going to benefit from that. There may be even other repercussions being discussed,” he added.
Reuters reports that it is “unclear what Kerry meant by repercussions.” Maybe he intentionally left it up to our imaginations. Meanwhile, dozens of people have been killed in a terrorist rocket attack on a hospital in Aleppo: