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WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States is waiting to see a Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons stock under international control, but will not wait for long, top diplomat John Kerry said Tuesday.

And Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said while everyone was hopeful the move could be “a real solution to the crisis,” he warned the threat of “credible, real” U.S. military action had to remain on the table.

Kerry, claiming U.S. ownership of the plan to rein in chemical weapons first floated Monday, said: “Yesterday, we challenged the regime to turn them over to the secure control of the international community so that they could be destroyed.”

Such a move “would be the ultimate way to degrade and deter” the arsenal held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he told the House Armed Services Committee.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had promised Kerry he would come up with a proposal to achieve the plan.

“We’re waiting for that proposal. But we’re not waiting for long,” Kerry said.

He vowed that President Barack Obama — who is due to address the nation later Tuesday — “will take a hard look at it, but it has to be swift. It has to be real. It has to be verifiable,” Kerry insisted.

And he warned it would be “exceedingly difficult.”

Kerry added, however, that “nothing had changed” with respect to Obama’s call for Congress to vote to approve a limited military strike on the Syrian regime, accused of using sarin gas in an attack near Damascus last month.

“We must be very clear-eyed and ensure that it is not a stalling tactic by Syria and its Russian patriots,” Hagel said of the Russian proposal.

“The threat of a U.S. military action, the credible, real threat of U.S. military action, must continue as we are talking today,” he insisted.

Photo by U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/ CC BY 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner—who like his boss and father-in-law President Donald Trump is a product of his family's fortune—was mercilessly lambasted on social media on Monday after he mocked Black Lives Matter activists and suggested that many Black people don't want to be successful.

Appearing on the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, Kushner—some of whose $1.8 billion family fortune was amassed off the misfortune and suffering of Black people—and the hosts discussed economic issues facing the Black community. Racism was not mentioned. Kushner did touch upon the subject, albeit in a decidedly derisive fashion. After mentioning George Floyd, the unarmed Black man killed in May by Minneapolis police, Kushner accused people who expressed support for Black lives of "virtual signaling."

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