Kerry, Putin Push Forward On Syrian Arms Deal As Civil War Hits Stalemate

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As the Syrian Civil War cools down to a possible stalemate, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin continue to push forward on a deal that will see Syria hand over and destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons.

Kerry told reporters on Thursday that the deal must be enforced if Syria is to avoid armed intervention. He claimed that the United Nations Security Council must be willing to act as early as next week, when the General Assembly meets in New York.

"The Security Council must be prepared to act next week," Kerry told Reuters on Thursday. "It is vital for the international community to stand up and speak out in the strongest possible terms about the importance of enforceable action to rid the world of Syria's chemical weapons."

Putin continues to back the deal as well, telling reporters that while he cannot be 100 percent certain that the deal will go through, he has high hopes that it will be enforced.

According to the deal brokered last Saturday by the United States and Russia, Syrian President Bashar Assad must account for his entire stockpile of chemical weapons and have them destroyed by the middle of 2014.

As the United Nations continues its push to confiscate Assad’s chemical weapons program, the Syrian government has stated that the civil war has reached a stalemate for the time being. Assad’s government is expected to call for a ceasefire in the coming days as fighting slows down.

Quadri Jamil, Syria’s deputy prime minister of economic affairs, says that neither side of the civil war is currently capable of overpowering the other.

"Neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side," he told the Guardian. "This zero balance of forces will not change for a while."

Jamil also claimed that the Syrian economy has sufferent greatly throughout the war, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the two year civil war. He estimates that the Syrian economy has lost over $100 billion, roughly equivalent to two years of normal production.

If a ceasefire does occur in Syria, Jamil insists, it would likely be supervised by United Nations peacekeepers from neutral countries. The rebels, however, may not be immediately willing to engage in such terms. Syrian rebel leaders have repeatedly refused to attend a Geneva peace talk until al-Assad resigns from office.

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