ABC NEWS: If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gives up his chemical weapons, a military strike would “absolutely” be on pause, President Obama said today.
Obama’s comments come after the Russian foreign minister suggested today that Syria could avoid a U.S. attack by turning over its chemical weapons stockpiles over to international control and destroying them, a proposal the Syrian government “welcomed.”
Obama said that Secretary of State John Kerry would pursue the proposal with Russia, an ally of Syria.
But at the same time, Obama said that a potential diplomatic resolution doesn’t mean that Congress should withdraw the threat of military action.
Assad is accused of using chemical weapons against his own people on a small scale “multiple times” since March and, according to the White House, an Aug. 21 attack on Damascus claimed 1,400 lives, 400 of them children.