Assad unlikely to cooperate with chemical weapons deal
It seems like the best way to describe the war in Syria is to compare it to a game of charades.
While Obama announced Tuesday that a vote on striking Syria would be delayed as they pursue multilateral diplomatic actions, as recently as Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied accusations for the Aug. 21 chemical attacks in Syria that garnered global attention in a CBS television interview held in Damascus.
Obama announced the strikes on Syria would be put on hold if Assad turns in Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile to international control, but his denials make it difficult to believe that he will cooperate with this deal.
For Assad to agree to such a deal is symbolic in many ways.
His supposed agreement to the terms of this deal clarifies to all the skeptical people out there that Assad does indeed have access to such harmful weapons, and at the same time, by agreeing, he gives the image of somehow taking responsibility for the use of chemical weapons.
In the interview with CBS, Assad threatened the U.S. with retaliation from Hezbollah and Iran if they were to attack Syria.
Knowing this, it would be expected that Assad’s confidence would be enough to make him hold his ground on his threat, leading him to refuse to turn in his chemical weapons.
Turning in the chemical weapons, in a way, seems like a submission.
According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, clear evidence was gathered that proves the Syrian government was indeed responsible for the chemical attacks. He also claims that the rockets used for the chemical attacks had come from the government-controlled area of Qasioun, hitting rebel-controlled areas.
Being the president of Syria, Assad would seemingly be able to clear his name by gathering evidence of the group or individual responsible for the attack. Not doing so has put Assad in a corner where his word is against the evidence that has been presented against him.