When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical weapons attack on his own people in 2013, crossing President Obama's red line and killing more than 1400 innocent civilians, a military response was put aside in favor of diplomatic talks.
The talks prompted a promise from Assad to destroy 100 percent of his chemical weapons, which the Obama administration touted as a successful concession from the regime. Then Secretary of State John Kerry argued the destruction of the chemical weapons was far more valuable than the U.S. ordering military strikes on Assad targets.
After Assad's chemical attack on civilians earlier this week, it became clear stockpiles were not "100 percent" destroyed.
As Cortney noted, Politifact rated Kerry's statement at the time "mostly true," but issued a retraction in light of the attack earlier this week.