Assad delivers weapon assessment to international inspectors

Analysts from the group's Technical Secretariat directorate are reviewing the details of the Syrian chemical weapons assessment, it adds. No specific details on the information submitted by Damascus of its chemical arsenal. 

But the handover of that information to international inspectors is just the beginning of the long process to track down, secure and eventually destroy the Assad's chemical stockpiles. 

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Friday's disclosure is part of a U.S. and Russian-brokered plan to disarm Assad's forces, who used chemical weapons against anti-government rebels fighting to topple the Syrian regime. 

On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry demanded Assad hand over all of the country's stockpiles to international control when the U.N. Security Council meets in New York next week. 

"The Security Council must be prepared to act next week. 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."

A U.N. report on the chemical attacks in August clearly showed government forces ordered and carried out the strikes, targeting rebel strongholds in and around Damascus. 

While Russia is a key architect in the Syria disarmament plan, Moscow continues to side with Assad's claims the chemical attacks were launched by rebel forces. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also publicly denounced any threats of military action by Washington, to force Assad to comply with the disarmament deal. 

Congressional lawmakers and White House officials claim possible U.S. military action against the regime is the only way to ensure Assad will meet the deal's requirements. 

However, Russia has indicated it may block any U.S.-led effort to keep American military action on the table, as part of the disarmament deal, during next week's U.N. Security Council meeting. 

Moscow has repeatedly stonewalled prior attempts by Washington and its allies on the council to take action against the Assad regime, which remains Russia's top ally in the Mideast. 

President Obama was poised to begin targeted military strikes in Syria, in retaliation for the chemical attacks in August. 

Russia's eleventh-hour offer to press Syria to abandon its chemical weapons put those strikes on indefinite hold. 

Prior to the announcement of the Russia deal, Congress planned to vote on a resolution authorizing the use of military force in Syria. 

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the resolution in early September, by a vote of 10 to 7.