Assad family
  • Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister says "reasonable" representatives of the armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad could take part in prospective peace talks with the regime.

    Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that the West should help encourage those rebels who don't harbor "extremist or terrorist views" to join the talks to settle the 2 ½-year conflict.

    The U.N. Security Council, which last week endorsed an international plan for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons, has called for a peace conference to be convened "as soon as possible."

    LAST UPDATE : Oct 01, 2013, 6:54 AM EDT
  • A high-ranking Syrian official hailed the U.S.-Russian agreement on securing Syria's chemical weapons, but the U.S. warned "the threat of force is real" if Damascus fails to carry out the plan.

    LAST UPDATE : Sep 15, 2013, 11:25 PM EDT
  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 file photo, Free Syrian Army fighters observe the Syrian army forces base of Wadi al-Deif, at the front line of Maarat al-Nuaman town, in Idlib province, Syria.

    The crisis over chemical weapons in Syria has underlined a central dilemma for the West as it tries to deal with the country's civil war — the lack of attractive alternatives to President Bashar Assad.

    LAST UPDATE : Sep 12, 2013, 4:24 AM EDT