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Obama: ‘US remains prepared to act’ in Syria

President welcomes deal reached with Russia on chemical stockpile but warns of consequences if Assad fails to comply

US President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, September 10, 2013 (photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci, Pool)
US President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, September 10, 2013 (photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci, Pool)

US President Barack Obama warned that the “US remains prepared to act,” hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced an agreement on a framework to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons by the mid-2014 and impose UN penalties if the Assad government fails to comply.

In a statement released by the White House Saturday, Obama said that the framework provides “the opportunity for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons in a transparent, expeditious, and verifiable manner, which could end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but to the region and the world.”

The president added that the United States would work with Russia, the UK, France, the UN and others to ensure that this process is verifiable, “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.”

Obama credited the “credible threat of US military force” as having played a significant role on the achievement “through diplomacy.”

The US maintains that Syrian forces perpetrated an attack suing chemical weapons on a Damascus neighborhood on August 21, killing over 1,400 people, including 400 children.

Witt the US threatening military action since late last month, the Obama administration and Russia remained at odds as Moscow maintained its vehement opposition to intervention and blocked any resolutions advocating such at the UN Security Council.

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