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Assad: Threat of U.S. Strike Not Reason for Surrendering Chemical Weapons

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File photo of Syrian President Bashar Assad. (credit: LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of Syrian President Bashar Assad. (credit: LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Syrian President Bashar Assad says his government’s decision to turn its chemical weapons over to Russia is not in fear of a military strike from the United States.

In an interview with Russian news channel Rossiya 24, Assad said “Syria is transferring chemical weapons under international control because of Russia,” the Associated Press reports.

Assad also said “the U.S. threats hadn’t influenced” his decision to surrender his government’s chemical weapons to Russia.

The full interview is scheduled to be broadcast later Thursday, according to the AP.

On Monday, Russia proposed that Syria place its chemical weapons under international control to help avoid a potential U.S. military strike. Assad accepted the proposal.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are scheduled to meet and discuss details of the plan in Geneva on Thursday.

President Barack Obama told the nation Tuesday night that he’s asked Congress to postpone its vote on using military force in Syria, and instead is willing to see if there’s a diplomatic resolution.

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