By Justin Sink - 09/11/13 07:48 PM EDT
The warning came as critics of the Obama administration questioned the feasibility of the Assad regime's offer, which came as the president was looking to rally support on Capitol Hill for military strikes in retaliation for last month's chemical weapons attack outside Damascus.
On Tuesday night, the president said in a prime-time television address that he had asked congressional leaders to delay a vote authorizing that use of force while he pursued a diplomatic solution.
"It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments," Obama said. "But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies."