The Washington Times - September 11, 2013, 07:25AM

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey said Wednesday the chances of getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to turn over and dismantle his stockpile of chemical weapons are “a lot less than 50 percent” but that the United States should explore a diplomatic solution anyway before launching a military strike.

Mr. Casey, of Pennsylvania, said the proposals on the table, if successful, would have the added benefit of stripping the Syrian government of the weapons.

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“We might be able to get a better result than even a military operation,” he told CNN’s “New Day.”

However, he echoed the Obama administration’s contention that the threat of force is the only reason Syria and its key ally, Russia, are talking about a deal. He said both countries have little credibility on the world stage.

“Let’s not kid ourselves. The chances of this happening are a lot less than 50 percent,” he said.

Mr. Casey said he hopes Congress will reach a consensus by the end of the week on a plan that demands results from Mr. Assad and his allies.

“If they don’t fulfill these commitments, then I think they’re going to pay a price,” he told CNN.