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Syria accepts surrender of chemical weapons

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 11:10 AM CDT
BREAKING: Syrian foreign minister says Syria has accepted Russian proposal to surrender control over its chemical weapons.

President
Obama says it all began during a 20-minute sitdown with Russian
President Putin during last week's G-20 summit. The Russians first
suggested that if Syria got rid of its chemical weapons stockpile, The
U.S. would not exercise the military option. If approved, it could
provide a face-saving way for president Obama to bring the crisis to a
close.
   
Tonight, Syria takes center stage. President Obama
addresses the nation, calling for action against Bashar al Assad's
regime. But as Obama gears up for the big speech, a possible diplomatic
breakthrough -- the president told ABC's Diane Sawyer that the Assad
regime. Can avoid a military strike if it turns over its chemicals
weapons.

"I want to make sure that that norm against use of
chemical weapons is maintained. If we can do that without a military
strike, that's
overwhelmingly my preference," Obama said.

The
Syrian government embraced a suggestion made by Secretary of State John
Kerry that it could avert a U.S. attack -- by handing over its chemical
weapons. President Obama calls it a potential breakthrough, but added
he still wants Congress to authorize for military action.

"If in fact the choice is between a world in which dictators and other
countries start believing it's accceptable to use chemical weapons on
children,that will make it more dangerous for us," Obama said.

The possible diplomatic out could not come at a better time for the
President. On capitol hill, opposition to a military strike is hardening.

"I see too much risk that a military strike could do more harm than good," said Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Polls
show a majority of Americans agree. That anti-strike sentiment is now
spilling into the streets. Meanwhile, President Assad, in an interview
with PBS's Charlie Rose, issued a new warning to the U.S.

"If you
strike somewhere you have to expect repercussions somewhere else in
different forms, in ways that you don't expect," Assad said.

The senate has delayed a vote on military action in Syria. This will allow
more time for the diplomatic developments to play out and for the president to make the case for a strike.Syria accepts surrender of chemical weapons


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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


 

Syria National Videos

Poll

Should the president forgo military strikes on Syria, if Congress opposes an attack?

YES
NO
NOT SURE

Poll Results

88.46% YES
3.84% NO
7.69% NOT SURE

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