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Syrian official: Chemical weapons deal a ‘victory’
Middle East » U.S. threatens use of force if plan fails.


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Standing next to Kerry in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed his belief that the Geneva agreement would have deep repercussions for Iran, Syria’s close ally.

"The world needs to ensure that radical regimes don’t have weapons of mass destruction, because as we have learned in Syria, if rogue regimes have weapons of mass destruction, they will use them," Netanyahu said. "The determination the international community shows regarding Syria will have a direct impact on the Syrian regime’s patron, Iran."

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U.N. diplomats said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was expected to brief the Security Council on Monday about what its inspectors found from the sites of the suspected gas attack. They spoke anonymously because the timing was not yet final.

Germany offered Sunday to help destroy Syrian chemical weapons. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Berlin is "prepared to make a technical or financial contribution to the destruction of chemical weapons from Syria." He didn’t elaborate, but officials say Germany has helped destroy chemical weapons in Libya and elsewhere in the past.

The Syrian opposition warned that the Assad regime may just be playing for time and said the threat of force must remain on the table. It added that securing Syria’s chemical weapons "must be for achieving justice and bringing the perpetrators of chemical weapons to the international court."

The Syrian National Coalition also repeated its calls for military aid, to "force the regime to end its military campaign and accept a political solution that leads to the democratic transformation of Syria."

The U.S. and its allies have balked at sending heavy weapons to the rebels, fearful the arms could land in the hands of extremists who are among the most effective fighters in the opposition ranks. Washington announced plans months ago to deliver weapons to the opposition, but rebels say they have yet to receive anything.




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