US could halt military strike on Syria
The United States appears to be willing to embrace a Russian diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis.
Click here to add Barack Obama as an alert
Disable alert for Barack Obama,
Click here to add Bashar al Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar al Assad,
Click here to add Congress as an alert
Disable alert for Congress,
Click here to add Damascus as an alert
Disable alert for Damascus,
Click here to add Department of State as an alert
Disable alert for Department of State,
Click here to add G20 as an alert
Disable alert for G20,
Click here to add John Kerry as an alert
Disable alert for John Kerry,
Click here to add John McCain as an alert
Disable alert for John McCain,
Click here to add Lindsey Graham as an alert
Disable alert for Lindsey Graham,
Click here to add NBC as an alert
Disable alert for NBC,
Click here to add Reuters as an alert
Disable alert for Reuters,
Click here to add Senate as an alert
Disable alert for Senate,
Click here to add Vladimir Putin as an alert
Disable alert for Vladimir Putin
According to an article in AlArabiya, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that a Russian plan for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control was “potentially positive” and pledged to take it seriously.
Obama warned however against any stalling tactics from Syria, and said the fact there was any talk of a plan to forestall U.S. air strikes was only down to his administration’s threats of military action, AFP reported, quoting Obama’s interview on NBC.
“I think you have to take it with a grain of salt initially,” he told “NBC Nightly News” in an interview. “This represents a potentially positive development,” he said, adding that Secretary of State John Kerry would explore with Russia how serious the offer is.
Obama was speaking in one of six television interviews he gave on Monday to make his case that Congress should grant him authority to take action against Syria in response to an alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 people.
Kerry suggested earlier Monday that Syria could avoid a potential U.S. air attack by putting its chemical weapons under international control.
Syria’s ally Russia quickly took the idea to Syria’s foreign minister, who said Damascus welcomes the proposal.
The State Department later said Kerry had been making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility of Assad turning over chemical weapons, which Assad denies his forces used in the Aug. 21 poison gas attack, according to Reuters.
Obama conceded that he might lose his fight for congressional support of a military strike against Syria, and declined to say what he would do if lawmakers reject his call to back retaliation for a chemical weapons attack last month.
“I think it's fair to say that I haven't decided” on a next step if Congress turns its back, the president said in an NBC interview, one of six he granted during the day as part of a furious lobbying campaign aimed at winning support from dubious lawmakers as well as a war-weary public.
He discussed a potential diplomatic solution on Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week when the two leaders discussed the crisis at the G20 summit, Obama told PBS News Hour in an interview on Monday.
“I did have those conversations. And this is a continuation of conversations I’ve had with President Putin for quite some time,” Obama said in the interview, one of six he gave to major U.S. television networks.
Two senior Republican U.S. senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, said the possibility of Assad giving up control of his chemical weapons should make members of Congress more willing to vote for the authorization for the use of military force.
“Congress should proceed with its plans to consider and vote on the authorization for use of force that is now before the Senate, and today’s development should make members of Congress more willing to vote yes,” McCain and Graham said in a statement.
- Khamenei welcomes Obama statements against military strikes
- Obama: Russian presence in Syria shows Assad is losing control
- Obama: U.S. military action could not have stopped crisis in Syria
- Obama mulls military strikes on Syria to end 22-month conflict
- Report: US considered military strikes against Syria