- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Obama will continue to press his case for a U.S. military strike in Syria during his address to the nation late Tuesday, arguing the credible threat of intervention is the only reason Russia and Syrian President Bashar Assad are trying to forge a diplomatic solution.

He said Mr. Obama wants to explain to Americans why he proposed military force while noting “potential progress on the diplomatic front” because of the threat of a strike on Mr. Assad’s soil.

“Which, I want to make clear, is something that we’ve been discussing with the Russians,” he told MSNBC, referring to Mr. Obama’s interactions last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that Mr. Assad could avoid a strike in response to the regime’s alleged use of sarin gas in an Aug. 21 strike on civilians near Damascus by surrendering his chemical weapons to global supervision.

Russia and top officials from Syria said they were taking Mr. Kerry at his word and would be amenable to the solution, but Washington is skeptical about their sincerity and the feasibility of such a plan.

Wire reports say Syria on Wednesday accepted a Russian-led plan to transfer chemical weapons to international control.

Earlier this week, Mr. Assad would not tell CBS’ Charlie Rose whether his government even had such weapons. He also repeatedly denied responsibility for the August attack.