Kerry: Syria Strike Will Be ‘Serious’ But ‘Small’ Compared to Iraq, Kosovo, Libya

By Melanie Arter | September 10, 2013 | 12:01pm EDT

Secretary of State John Kerry (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

( – Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday that any U.S. military intervention in Syria will be “small” in comparison to past military operations in Iraq, Kosovo and Libya.

“The Assad regime will feel it, because it will degrade their military capacity, but compare it to Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, it’s small. It is not any of those things. That doesn’t mean that it will be anything less than what I’ve suggested previously and the military has suggested,” Kerry said.

Congress is debating whether to authorize the use of force against Syria after President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against over 1,000 civilians. Assad has warned that the U.S. will “pay the price” for any strike against Syria, BBC News reported Monday.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported Tuesday that Assad’s government accepted a plan to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile.

“Secretary, would you please explain what an incredibly small strike is?” Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) asked Kerry.

“It’s not Iraq. It’s not Iran. It’s not a year’s war. What I was doing was trying to point out to people that we are engaged in a strike, which we have again and again, and if you want to take my comments in their entirety, I have said, this will be meaningful. It will be serious,” Kerry responded.

“We don’t do pin pricks. The president has said that, and we’ve said that. We will degrade, and I believe we will deter, but it is not Iraq, Afghanistan, and compared to them, it is small,” he added.

The president is expected to address the nation Tuesday night on the situation in Syria.

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