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Carter backs diplomacy plan

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 09:01 PM EDT

Atlanta, GA (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter says he believes the best path forward in Syria is for the United States to work out a deal with Russia for Syria to give up its chemical weapons.
 
Carter said Tuesday during an event at The Carter Center that it would not be a catastrophe if Congress votes against President Barack Obama's call for military action against Syria. He noted presidents have often put forward important issues later rejected by Congress.
 
Carter says he believes placing U.N. officials in Syria to oversee removal of chemical weapons would result in a ceasefire in large parts of the country. Carter also says it's likely the United States will have to back down from requiring military action if Syria does not live up to a weapons disarmament plan.


 

Carter backs diplomacy plan


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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


 

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