Amid escalating rhetoric from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that America should “expect everything” in a retaliatory move if it were to bomb Syria, we may be getting close to a diplomatic solution. Earlier today, Secretary of State John Kerry signaled that airstrikes may be taken off the table were Syria to give up its chemical weapons. There has been talk that his statement was a “gaffe,” but nonetheless, Russia immediately stepped in and offered a proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. The Syrian government has said that it “welcomes” Russia’s proposal.
In an NBC interview Monday night, President Obama said that a proposal by the Russians to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control was a “potential breakthrough.” This came on a day of planned interviews to make his case for targeted airstrikes against Syria. He is also scheduled to address the nation to make his case tomorrow night.
These latest developments are potentially a game changer. The Obama administration has steadfastly held to its position that Syria must suffer consequences for its use of chemical weapons against its people. The constant pressure exerted by the President has paid dividends and set the stage for today’s diplomatic breakthrough. There is only one question remaining: are Syria and Russia serious about their proposal?
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