Russia and the U.S. negotiate on Syria intervention

Putin publishes a piece in opposition to U.S. involvement in Syria. (AP Photo)

Russia and the United States have agreed to temporarily halt the prospect of western military intervention in Syria, according to BBC.

In a move that has changed the tide of the Syrian conflict, Syria has agreed to hand over its stockpile of chemical weapons to the international community, as reported by BBC. Russia is seen to have helped negotiate the peaceful resolution to counter a U.S. led intervention force in the region, according to BBC.

U.N. inspectors suggest that it would take at least a year to properly register and destroy Bashar Al-Assad’s chemical stockpile, according to BBC.

The U.N. has confirmed that the deadly chemical attack, which occurred in a suburb of the capital, Damascus, last August, was sarin gas. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 502 citizens were killed in the attack. U.S. officials have placed the number of dead civilians at 1,429.

While the United States, Britain and France are accusing government forces of this attack, Syria and its allies are claiming it was the rebels.

A draft of the resolution to facilitate the handover of Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile is set to be voted on by the U.N. The United States is taking a more aggressive stance on the proceedings, wanting to add a stipulation where any refusal by the Syrian government would result in military action.

“We need everyone’s help to see the Security Council lives up to its founding values and passes a binding resolution that codifies the strongest possible mechanism to achieve the goal and achieve it rapidly,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told BBC.

The conflict over Syria has worsened already, deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia. On Wednesday, Sept. 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin openly criticized the United States in a New York Times op-ed article. In his article, Putin said that military involvement would “increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.”

In response, Arizona Senator John McCain posted an article on the Russian website Pravda. McCain shot back at Putin.

“By refusing to consider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions of refugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfs other countries in its flames an appropriate subject for the world’s attention,” he wrote.

There have been over 100,000 people killed in the Syrian civil war, as well as over two million people displaced.