Inside Syria

Syria: Breaking the deadlock

Does the UN resolution mark a turning point in the Syrian conflict?

Last Modified: 29 Sep 2013 10:30
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After weeks of negotiations, intense diplomacy and the threat of military action, the United Nations has finally agreed on a resolution to destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

Obama is focusing only on chemical weapons. He is quite specific that he is not intending to change the balance of power on the ground or to solve the Syrian civil war.... Assad is not going to go anywhere ... he is a power on the ground, he is not going to step down.

Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East studies

On Friday, the 15-member Security Council voted unanimously on the deal put forward by the US and Russia.

The vote came after the international chemical watchdog agreed on a plan to destroy Syria's stockpile by mid-next year.

"Together the world with a single voice for the first time is imposing binding obligations on the Assad regime, requiring it to get rid of  weapons that have been used to devastating effect as tools of terror," said John Kerry, the US secretary of state.

But Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, made clear what the agreement is not: "This resolution does not fall under chapter seven of the UN Charta and does not allow for any automatic use of coercive measures of enforcement."

The passing of this resolution breaks a two-and-half year deadlock at the UN over Syria, where at least 100,000 people have been killed since the conflict began.

So will this agreement now pave the way for talks on the broader Syrian issue? Is it a turning point in the Syrian conflict? What are the prospects for peace? Could it be the first step towards a broader ceasefire?

Inside Syria, with presenter Folly Bah Thibault, discusses with guests: Najib Ghadbian, the representative of the Syrian National Coalition at the UN; Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East studies and a professor at the University of Oklahoma; and Ammar Waqqaf, a Syrian political activist.

"This resolution focuses on the issue of disarming the Syrian regime of its chemical weapons arsenal. But it doesn't really address two issues: Those who used chemical weapons against their population ... are still unaccountable. And it doesn't really address the fact that more than 100,000 Syrians were killed by conventional weapons .... This regime has not limit, they are willing to go to the extreme ... so to take that weapon from them is a positive development."

Najib Ghadbian, the representative of the Syrian National Coalition at the UN


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