Thursday, August 28 2014 7:30 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:30:33 GMT
President Barack Obama faces a familiar question as he contemplates airstrikes in Syria: Should Congress have a say in his decision?More >>
President Barack Obama tamped down the prospect of imminent U.S. military action in Syria on Thursday, saying "we don't have a strategy yet" for degrading the violent militant group seeking to establish a caliphate in...More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:00:37 GMT
Syrian activists say government warplanes are targeting rebels near the country's frontier with Israel in the Golan Heights, a day after opposition fighters captured a crossing point there.More >>
The Islamic State group killed more than 160 Syrian government troops seized in recent fighting, posting pictures Thursday of terrified young conscripts stripped down to their underwear before meeting their deaths in the...More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:39:41 GMT
French President Francois Hollande has ruled out an international partnership with Syria's leader to fight against the Islamic State group, saying any alliance with Bashar Assad would play into the...More >>
French President Francois Hollande on Thursday ruled out an international partnership with Syria's leader to fight against the Islamic State group, saying any alliance with Bashar Assad would play into the...More >>
Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:59:00 GMT
The independent U.N. commission on Syrian war crimes says the Islamic State group has committed crimes against humanity with its attacks on civilians in two cities in the country's north and west.More >>
The mother of a hostage American journalist pleaded for his release Wednesday in a video directed at the Islamic State group, while new images emerged of mass killings, including masked militants shooting kneeling men...More >>
Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:59:19 GMT
Douglas McAuthur McCain, an American killed in Syria while fighting alongside the Islamic State, was part of a growing number of foreign fighters recruited to fight alongside terror groups.More >>
Douglas McAuthur McCain, an American killed in Syria while fighting with the Islamic State group, was part of a growing number of Americans and other foreigners recruited by terror groups to help them wage war in the Mideast.More >>
(CNN) – With the U.S. backing off its push for military action in Syria, world leaders are watching to see if the Damascus regime will give up its chemical weapons stockpile.
But there's a lot of skepticism out there as well, about whether the proposal is realistic, or feasible.
While officials in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow gushed about a deal that could avert a U.S. military strike on Syria, a virtual avalanche of questions left it smothered in doubt. One Israeli expert said it amounted to a "mission impossible."
"For the moment is seems like a mission impossible, in the conditions in which the Syrian conflict finds itself just now," said Ely Karmon, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. "First of all, a cease fire between the two forces, then both sides have to withdraw to allow inspectors to come in and verify where the weapons and the facilities are."
Even if Syria accepted a cease-fire, there are serious doubts that the rebels would go along.
"The solution may be a good idea but, and it's a big "but" - the technicalities," said Col. Yoni Fighel, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. "As much as this offer is tempting on the surface of it, the Russians are not being regarded as honest brokers."
An Israeli research institute has compiled a detailed list of Syria's chemical production sites, five major facilities, but experts say there are dozens more sites and Syria's suspected one thousand tons of chemical agents have been disbursed.
Someone, most likely, the U.N., would have to oversee any operation. But there's even a harsher reality, the timeline.
"It's a very long-term solution, at least in my opinion, taking into account the huge arsenal…at least three to four years," said Karmon.
Remember Iraq. U.N. inspectors spent years searching out Saddam Hussein's chemical stockpile, eventually gathering rockets, artillery and raw chemicals at a sprawling desert site called Mouthanna. Iraq may have had more chemical arms, but the inspectors weren't working in the crossfire of conflict.