U.S. ready for military strike on Syria if Damascus does not abide plan on chemical weapons 2109131

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Defence & Security Industry - United States

 
 
Saturday, September 21, 2013 10:25 AM
 
U.S. ready for military strike on Syria if Damascus does not abide plan on chemical weapons.
The United States has not ruled out military strikes against Syria if Damascus does not abide by a US-Russian plan to hand over its chemical weapons arsenal, a White House official said Friday ahead of UN Security Council talks on enforcing the disarmament program.
     
The United States has not ruled out military strikes against Syria if Damascus does not abide by a US-Russian plan to hand over its chemical weapons arsenal, a White House official said Friday ahead of UN Security Council talks on enforcing the disarmament program.“We are not forsaking the option of the United States and our allies taking military action,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters during a conference call.
     

Washington and Moscow are expected to clash in negotiations at next week’s UN General Assembly over the terms of a Security Council resolution that would enforce Syria’s compliance with a US-Russian plan hammered out in Geneva last week.

US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a news briefing Friday that the five Security Council members met Friday to discuss a resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons, which the United States hopes will be up for a vote next week.

The administration of US President Barack Obama will continue to push for a resolution that includes the option of military action if Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government fails to adhere to the US-Russian plan to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control for eventual destruction, Rhodes said.

Obama will argue in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that Assad and his government must face “consequences” should “they fail to cooperate with the international community” in the effort to dispose of Syria’s chemical arsenal, Rhodes said.

Rhodes’ comments followed the announcement earlier Friday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which monitors the global ban on these arms, that Syria had provided it with details of its chemical weapons program.

The Netherlands-based group, which is tasked with overseeing the US-Russian framework agreement, said in a statement that it had “received an initial disclosure from the Syrian Government of its chemical weapons program, which is now being examined by the Technical Secretariat.”

Under the US-Russian plan, Assad’s government has until Saturday to submit to the OPCW a “comprehensive listing” of Syria’s chemical weapons program, including types and quantities of chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and “location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.”

 

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