The United States and Russia announced a plan to transfer Syria’s massive chemical weapons stockpile to international control by the middle of next year, at which point they would be destroyed. Syria now has one week to declare the size and location of its chemical weapons stashes. The disarmament would also be expedited, with inspectors arriving by November.
Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Geneva the process would take place “in the soonest and safest manner.” Kerry went on to say “The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments,….There can be no games. No room for avoidance or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime.”
President Obama added that “more work remains to be done” and that “there are consequences should the Assad regime not comply with the framework agreed today. And, if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act.”
Meanwhile, Gen. Salim Idris, the commander of the Free Syrian Army rebel group, does not see this agreement as progress. Idris said in a news conference in Turkey that the Russian initiative was a “waste of time,” The Associated Press reported. Idris said the rebels will continue “fighting the regime and work for bringing it down.”