What is before us today is real and it is compelling,” Mr Kerry said. “What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world.” The remarks highlighted Washington’s hardening line on the Syrian conflict, in contrast to President Obama’s previous reluctance to become directly involved in another Middle East war.

Mr Kerry did not mince words about what happened in Syria or who was responsible. He accused the Syrian government of the “indiscriminate slaughter of civilians” and of cynical efforts to cover up its responsibility for a “cowardly crime.” And he warned that “President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.” (CONTINUED - 938 WORDS)