The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Syria should hand over its chemical weapons to avoid an attack. Speaking in London on Monday, after talks with his British counterpart William Hague, Kerry continued his efforts to garner wider international support for military action against Syria. When asked what would stop the U.S. from acting, he said the regime of President Bashar Assad would have to provide full international access to its stockpile of chemical weapons – a move Kerry said he believed was highly unlikely, the BBC reported. Even if the Congress does approve a strike, Kerry said it would be an “unbelievably small, limited” effort, meant to punish the regime’s use of chemical weapons but not intended to get the U.S. military involved in a years-long conflict.
The U.S. accuses Assad’s forces of killing 1,429 people in a sarin gas attack on Aug. 21, but the Syrian government blames the attack on rebels fighting to overthrow the regime, reports the BBC.
Meanwhile, talks between the Russian and Syrian foreign ministers are taking place in Moscow. The Russian and Syrian governments urged the U.S. on Monday to focus on convening a peace conference to end the two-and-a-half-year conflict instead of taking military action against Damascus, reports Reuters.