Assad’s Forces on Attack After U.S.-Russia Arms Deal
Syrian warplanes and artillery bombarded rebel suburbs of the capital on Sunday after the United States agreed to call off military action in a deal with Russia to remove President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons.
President Barack Obama said he may still launch U.S. strikes if Damascus fails to follow a nine-month U.N. disarmament plan drawn up by Washington and Assad’s ally Moscow. But a reluctance among U.S. voters and Western allies to engage in a new Middle East war, and Russian opposition, has put any attacks on hold.
Syrian rebels, calling the international focus on poison gas a sideshow, dismissed talk the arms pact might herald peace talks and said Assad had stepped up an offensive with ordinary weaponry now that the threat of U.S. air strikes had receded.