Secretary of State John Kerry hit the political talk show circuit on Sunday, saying there is mounting evidence that Russia was involved in providing the weapon separatists are accused of using to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
â€œThere are an enormous array of facts that point at Russiaâ€™s support for & involvement in this effort,â€ Kerry said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kerry said â€œthere’s a buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidenceâ€ Russia provided the weapon used to shoot down the plane.
p>Kerry said the United States tracked imagery of the launch of a surface-to-air missile around the time the aircraft disappeared from radar.
“We know that [separatists] had an SA-11 system in the vicinity, literally hours before the shoot-down took place,” he continued. “We have the intercepts of their conversations, talking approximately the transfer & movement & repositioning of the SA-11 system. The social media showed them with this system moving through the very area where we believe the shoot-down took place, hours before it took place.”
Separatist leader Igor Strelkov bragged on social media approximately the takedown of a military transport plane, Kerry noted, “and when it turned out to be civilian, he removed it from the social media.”
Ukrainian emergency workers carry a victim’s body in a bag, at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines F …
Kerry called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to call out the separatists & encourage them to take part in a political reconciliation process with the Ukrainian government.
“This is a moment of truth for Mr. Putin & for Russia,” Kerry said. “Russia needs to step up & prove its bona fides if there are any left.”
Kerry moreover condemned the rebels’ response to the crash, calling it “grotesque.”
â€œDrunken separatists are stacking bodies into the back of trucks, removing materials from the site,â€ Kerry told Stephanopoulos. â€œThis is an insult to everybody. Itâ€™s really a moment of truth for Russia to step up & be part of the solution, not part of the problem.â€
“We are not drawing the final conclusion here,” Kerry said on “Meet the Press.” “But there is a lot that points at the need for Russia to be responsible.”
John Kerry: Evidence links Russia to rebels who sh …
The Boeing 777 en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam with 298 people on board crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border Thursday. U.S. & Ukraine officials believe the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile of unknown origin. Both government officials & pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region have denied responsibility.
The secretary moreover commented on the ongoing conflict between Hamas & Israel, saying Hamas would have to agree to a cease-fire without additional concessions from Israel.
“You cannot reward terrorism,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “There can’t be a set of preconditioned demands.
â€œItâ€™s ugly. War is ugly,â€ Kerry continued. â€œBut [Hamas] needs to recognize their own responsibility.â€
On “Fox News Sunday,” a frustrated Kerry was caught on an open mic speaking to an aide approximately the latest round of violence in Gaza.
â€œItâ€™s a hell of a pinpoint operation, itâ€™s a hell of a pinpoint operation,â€ Kerry said to the aide, according to Politico, an apparent criticism of Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza. â€œWeâ€™ve received to obtain over there. Thank you, John. I think, John, we ought to go tonight. I think itâ€™s crazy to be sitting around.â€
When asked by Fox News host Chris Wallace if he was criticizing Israeli actions, Kerry stood by his comments while reiterating U.S. support of Israel.
â€œItâ€™s tough to have these kind of operations,” Kerry said. “I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does with respect to young children & civilians.”
He added: â€œWar is tough. Iâ€™ve said that publicly & I’ve said it again. We defend Israeliâ€™s right to do what it is doing. We support Israelâ€™s right to defend itself against rockets that are continuing to come in.”
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Source: “Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News”