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Kerry 'absolutely supportive' of Trump's Syria strike: report

The former Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly "absolutely supportive" of President Trump's missile strike against a Syrian leader Bashar Assad's regime this week.

A source close to the former diplomat told Politico that Kerry approved of the U.S. decision to fire missiles at a Syrian airfield in response to a chemical attack and is "gratified to see that it happened quickly."

The source added that President Obama's secretary of State "believes if executed correctly and clearly, [military action] can help reenergize the diplomatic channel" to foster a peace agreement.

According to Politico, Kerry is also watching to see if more strikes will be carried out by Washington.

Antony Blinken, a former deputy secretary of state who worked with Kerry in the Obama administration, also praised the U.S. strike against a Syrian airfield in an op-ed for the New York Times on Thursday.

"President Donald J. Trump was right to strike at the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using a weapon of mass destruction, the nerve agent sarin, against its own people," Blinken wrote.

The former official added, however, that the real test for Trump is what comes after the missile strike.

"The real test for Mr. Trump is what comes next. He has shown a total lack of interest in working to end Syria's civil war," Blinken argued.

"Now, the administration has leverage it should test with the Assad regime and Russia to restrain Syria's air force, stop any use of chemical or biological weapons, implement an effective cease-fire in Syria's civil war and even move toward a negotiated transition of power – goals that eluded the Obama administration."

Administration officials are signaling that the missile strike was a one-time response to the gas attack that killed dozens of civilians, including children. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday is does not represent a change in U.S. policy toward military action in Syria.

[Source: By Nikita Vladimirov, The Hill, Washington, 07Apr17]

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