The U.S. war in Syria is off! Or, at the very least, seriously delayed, now that the Syrian government has reportedly accepted a Russian proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly "agreed to the Russian initiative."
Al-Moallem added that Syria did so to "uproot U.S. aggression."
His statement sounded more definitive than his remarks Monday, when he said that Damascus welcomed Russia's initiative.
Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia is now working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action, which will be presented shortly.
The Russian proposal, and Syria's hasty acceptance, followed John Kerry's off-the-cuff comment on Monday—in which the U.S. secretary of state told reporters that Syria could avoid an American strike if he "turn[ed] over every single bit of his chemical weapons," a possibility Kerry immediately dismissed.
But Syria and Russia, its closest ally on the U.N. Security Council, leaped on the comment, and President Obama expressed a willingness to stand down if the Syrian chemical-weapons handover met U.S. standards. (In an interview with Charlie Rose, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seemed eager to avoid war.)