On Monday, Kerry said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid having his country bombed into oblivion by turning over "every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week." Of course Kerry just assumed that Assad would never do such a thing, but the Russians immediately pounced on his statement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov quickly announced that Russia would encourage Syria to turn over their chemical weapons to international control in exchange for a guarantee that the U.S. will not attack, and subsequently Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem stated that his government was prepared for "full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression."
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