Syria Agrees to Surrender Chemical Weapons to ‘Derail U.S. Aggression’

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said his country has “agreed to the Russian initiative” to hand over its chemical weapons to international control for eventual destruction, a move to avoid a potential U.S. missile offensive.

The diplomatic solution was floated “rhetorically” by Secretary of State John Kerry during a press conference on Monday, but was quickly taken seriously by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Syria said it accepted the offer “to derail U.S. aggression.”

Lavrov said Syria will now produce a detailed plan for the transfer of Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons, which will be presented to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

RELATED: McCain: ‘Extremely Skeptical’ of Russian Offer, But ‘Mistake’ Not to Pursue It

The diplomatic solution is a potential out for President Barack Obama, who has struggled to garner both domestic and international support for a strike on Syria. However, the White House remains suspicious of Syria’s sincerity in surrendering its chemical weapons.

Watch video of al-Moallem below, via NBC News:

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[h/t AP]

[Image via screengrab]

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