Security Council announces agreement on Syrian resolution, Assad says US attack still possible
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council announced Wednesday that they have agreed on the core of the draft resolution to remove Syria's chemical weapons, according to diplomat sources cited in the Daily Star. The United States, Russia, France, China and Great Britain will present the draft to the full 15-member security council "soon" according to the diplomat sources and are expected to meet Friday to discuss the proposed Geneva II peace talks .
However, the UNSC announcement coincides with 13 rebel groups' decision Wednesday to break with the Syrian opposition National Coalition (SNC) in support of an Islamic framework for action and Syrian-based leadership and it is not yet clear if the opposition will be fully represented if Geneva II talks are to take place. SNC has been criticized by the 13 groups for representing Syrian interests outside of the country, rather than the realities on the ground. SNC president Ahmed Tuma announced Wednesday that he would be returning to Syria today, but would not negotiate with individual groups, according to the Daily Star article.
Syrian President Bashar Assad further gave an interview Wednesday where he stated that he "does not discount" future possibilities of a US attack on Syria despite President Obama's speech at the UN stating that America would "not use military force to depose Assad," according to the Associated Press. On Venezuelan state television, Assad further accused Obama as "lying" to US citizens by claiming that the Syrian president's regime was responsible for the chemical attacks in late August.