It's a fine distinction, but I think you can see what John Kerry's getting at.
Fortunately, neither Syria nor their Hezbollah allies are capable of formulating a retaliatory response. I mean, really, what are they going to do, blow up some American civilians somewhere? It's not like these are the kind of guys who would do that sort of thing. No, I envision them sitting in the corner with their hands folded neatly on their laps, thinking long and hard about what they've done.