Syria timeline: how Kerry's gaffe became a plan

An off-the-cuff remark by US Secretary of State John Kerry has snowballed into an international effort to seek a peaceful resolution to the chemical weapons dilemma in Syria.

Here's how the plan gained momentum:

Last week

Russian President Vladimir Putin offers to help negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis at the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg.

Monday morning [US east coast]

Mr Kerry, when asked in London what Dr Assad could do to avert military action, says: "Turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow a full and total accounting for that," referring to Syria's chemical weapon stockpile.

"But he isn't about to do it and it can't be done."

Soon after

State Department issues clarification: "Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons".

"His [Kerry's[ point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That's why the world faces this moment."

Within the next hour or so

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: "We are calling on the Syrian authorities not only agree on putting chemical weapons storages under international control, but also for its further destruction and then joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," Mr Lavrov said.

"We have passed our offer to [Syrian Foreign Minister] Walid al-Muallem and hope to receive a fast and positive answer," he added.

Soon after

Syrian Forreign Minister Walid al-Muallem: "The Syrian Arab republic welcomes the Russian initiative, motivated by the concerns of the Russian leadership for the lives of our citizens and the security of our country," he said, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.

Mr Muallem didn't provide any details of what Damascus was willing to do, and didn't address Russia's call for Syria to sign on to the global convention banning chemical weapons. He said Syria's position on the Russian proposal was motivated "out of our faith in the wisdom of the Russian leadership, which is striving to prevent American aggression against our people."

He said Damascus was ready for "full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression."

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice says "US action on Syria will not be another war" while speaking to the New America Foundation think tank in Washington, D.C.

Shortly before 1:30 PM

Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Adviser says: "We would welcome a decision and action by Syria to give up its chemical weapons...We will take a hard look at the proposal."

He added that Syria's "track record to date, doesn't give you a lot of confidence."

About 2 PM

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Syria surrendering chemical stockpiles would be an "important step" to averting a potential US military strike but can't be an "excuse for delay or destruction."

"But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction. And Russia has to support the international community's efforts sincerely or be held to account. It is very important to note that this discussion that has taken hold today about potential international control over Syria's stockpiles only could take place in the context of a credible military threat by the United States to keep pressure on the Syrian government as well as those supporting Syria like Russia."

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