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Any deal on Syria chemical weapons must be 'verifiable and enforceable' says Obama

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that a report compiled by inspectors who visited Syria last month would likely show that chemical weapons were used in the Aug. 21 attack near Damascus. Speaking in New York, Ban said the report would be released "as soon as possible."

Here's what the main players want in the standoff over Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avert a US strike, he said, if he would “turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it without delay, and allow a full and total accounting for that.” Within hours, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov floated a proposal to defuse the Syrian crisis based on Kerry’s suggestion, and almost everyone was in love with it. It’s not hard to see why: for many of the main actors in this drama, the Russian-Kerry proposal offers a life preserver in a very stormy sea.

Europe welcomes the return of diplomacy over Syria

LISBON, Portugal — After weeks of confusion and division over Syria, there was near unanimous support in Europe for the Russian proposal to place Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons under international control. However, Tuesday’s fast-moving diplomatic events revealed a rift in the international consensus on international chemical weapons controls.

Russia: The new peacemaker in Syria?

Moscow found itself on Tuesday playing the role of international peacemaker after Damascus agreed to its surprise proposal to transfer Syria’s chemical weapons to international control, suggesting the Russian plan may help thwart a potential US strike. But the Kremlin appeared to indicate it wouldn’t back a resolution at the UN Security Council today.

What are the economic risks if Syria goes south?

Analysis: Would airstrikes spark global anarchy — or is that what looms without them?
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A derrick pumps in a oil field near Kuwait's border with Saudi Arabia. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Financial analysts see the entire affair as fraught with danger, except those preparing to ride any surge in oil prices that could result. Politically or economically, the theory of unintended consequences suggests that sticking Uncle Sam’s nose into Syria’s civil war — even in the arm’s-length form of cruise missiles — could prove to be the catalyst for a train of events that sets the Middle East on fire.

The Russian proposal: 3 Questions with Ambassador Nicholas Burns

If — and it's still a big if — the international community can be assured that Bashar al-Assad's government no longer has chemical weapons at its disposal, Obama said the offer could potentially prove "a significant breakthrough."

Syria will declare its chemical weapons, join convention, says FM (LIVE BLOG)

The Syrian government agreed to a Russian-backed proposal that would see international authorities destroy its chemical weapons arsenal, though questions remained over whether the plan could work.

Will Hezbollah strike back if the US attacks Syria?

BEIRUT — Fear in Lebanon is centered on the question of how Hezbollah, the powerful Shia Muslim movement and militia that is politically and militarily dominant in Lebanon, might respond to potential intervention in Syria.

Sarin gas was used in Syria, Cameron says, citing new evidence

British Prime Minister David Cameron said lab tests conducted by the UK confirmed the use of sarin gas in the alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack in August. Cameron spoke while at the G20 summit, which has been overshadowed by the current crisis in Syria.

In Syria debate, history’s in the eye of the beholder

Analysis: Citing Kosovo in favor and the Iraq war against, pundits are forgetting the dire truth: Halabja.
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The grave site of many of the 5,000 victims of the 1988 chemical attacks on Halabja, Iraq. (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)
When debating military action in Syria, many cite Kosovo or Iraq invasions for historical reference. But 25 years ago, the Iraqi military rained artillery shells laced with mustard gas, sarin and other deadly nerve agents on a village in called Halabja. The attacks killed 5,000 Kurds, according to Red Cross statistics, and maimed 10,000 more. The region suffers a severely increased level of birth defects and cancer. And yet, the international response was muted, to say the least.
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