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US-Russia deal lets Bashar Assad keep biological weapons

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad must surrender his chemical weapons to avoid a U.S. military strike, but the U.S.-Russia framework on his disarmament makes no mention of Assad handing over his biological weapons.

"[T]he United States and the Russian Federation have committed to prepare and submit in the next few days to the Executive Council of the OPCW a draft decision setting down special procedures for expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof," the State Department framework explains.

"The United States and the Russian Federation believe that these extraordinary procedures are necessitated by the prior use of these weapons in Syria and the volatility of the Syrian civil war."

President Obama mentioned Assad's biological weapons when he laid down the red line last August. "We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized," he told reporters. "That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”


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