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Syria Deeply: U.S.

, Russia Strike a Deal

9/15/13 5:14 PM

This Week in Syria, Deeply

Dear Deeply Readers, A week that started with a march toward war, that melted in the heat of U.S. politics, that morphed into high-level diplomacy, ended with a U.S.-Russian deal to destroy Syrias chemical weapons. On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave a joint statement announcing the deal. The bottom line: President Bashar al Assad must declare his chemical inventory within a week, allow inspectors "immediate, unfettered access" to all sites, then allow for all chemical weapons to be destroyed and/or removed from the country. This would all have to be done by the middle of 2014 an admittedly ambitious goal. Seasoned Syria watchers, along with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, are skeptical that the Assad regime will fully cooperate or hand over its arsenal in full. U.S. President Barack Obama held up the threat of force as a potential penalty. If diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to actthe international community expects the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments, he said. Reuters reports that U.S. military forces were still positioned to strike. But in reality, the threat of a U.S. strike on Syria is indefinitely on hold. Syrias opposition rejected the deal. On Twitter, Salman Shaikh of the Brooking Doha Center predicted it would lead to the intensification of the conflict in Syria, killing thousands more. On Saturday, the activist Local Coordination Committees recorded 106 deaths in one day of fighting, as government warplanes bombed the suburbs of Damascus. In a Skype interview from the rebel-held areas of Aleppo, one member of the Local Council said residents feel betrayed by the international community, their deaths and day-

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Syria Deeply: U.S., Russia Strike a Deal

9/15/13 5:14 PM

to-day struggles largely ignored. Every Friday protesters choose a theme for their protests, a motto to mark each passing week of the Syrian revolution. The motto they chose this week: The Killer of the Syrian People is the International Community. Increasingly, the world is feeling the effects of a humanitarian crisis thats left unabated. Syrias refugees are now spilling over into Europe, thousands washing onto Italys southern shores by the boatload. Highlights from Syria Deeply: 5 Takeaways From Our Hangout with John Kerry A Syrian Army Defector in Aleppo Refugees in Lebanon Find Shelter Where They Can The State of a Secular Rebel Fighting Force Syria ER: Entire Families Have Third Degree Burns We featured a range of stories on our Syria Deeply podcast. And as always, to help you review, heres our day-to-day roundup of Syria headlines last week: Monday: Syrias Assad Denies Chemical Weapons Use; U.S. Presses Case for Strike; Saudi Backs an Attack, Iraq Opposes It Tuesday: Syria Welcomes Proposal to Destroy Its Chemical Weapons; Obama Cites Potential 'Breakthrough'; France Seeks UN Resolution Wednesday: Obama Delays Syria Strike Vote, Leans on Diplomacy; UN Panel Cites Evidence of War Crimes in Syria Thursday: Geneva Talks Begin, U.S. and Russia Spar over Syria; Rebels Get Guns from CIA; UN Reportedly Set to Blame Assad for Attack Friday: Day Two of U.S.-Russia Talks in Geneva; Reports of Hospital Bombing, Alawite Massacre; Kurds Clash with Islamists We hope our work has helped to better engage and inform you on a critical issue. Were fielding your feedback on how to better serve you and the story, via email

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Syria Deeply: U.S., Russia Strike a Deal

9/15/13 5:14 PM

at info@syriadeeply.org Sincerely, The News Deeply Team

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