09/11/2013, 00.00
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Obama postpones attack on Syria , allowing himself and Russia more time

The U.S. president admits that the Russian proposal the Damascus hand over its chemical weapons is an "encouraging sign" . Congress vote on attack avoided. At the UN Security Council standoff between France and Russia. Relief among the population of Damascus.

Washington (AsiaNews) - President Barack Obama has decided to postpone the threatened military attack against Syria, allowing time for Russia's diplomatic efforts to bring Damascus' chemical weapons arsenal under international control for destruction. In doing so he has also postponed a vote in Congress on the attack military, which threatened to see Obama fail to obtain a majority of votes.

His address to the nation had been announced as a strong appeal to the nation and Congress to authorize the use of force. But last night he conceded that the Russian initiative "has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force", though seasoned with some skepticism : "In the meantime - he added - I have ordered our soldiers to maintain the current positions , putting pressure on Assad and to be in position to respond if diplomacy fails . "

Obama 's gesture is also a last minute rescue of his leadership . Having declared his intention to attack Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people an increasing resistance to the idea has grown among the U.S. public and parliamentarians. A majority of representatives would have voted against the use of force and various polls have shown that about two-thirds of the American population are against a new military involvement in the Middle East.

In addition, almost ironically , analysts argue that a military attack against Assad would have favored the resistance , among which there are groups linked to Al Qaeda. In this way, the U.S. would have fought on the side of the terrorist organization, on the anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York (11 September 2001 ), attributed to Al Qaeda.

Obama, while repeating all the accusations against Syria, and reaffirming his certainty that Damascus used chemical weapons on August 21 , said that the Russian proposal provides "some encouraging signs " . For this reason, tomorrow John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State , will meet the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Obama himself will keep in contact with his Russian counterpart , Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile , at the UN Security Council, France and Britain are working on a resolution to put a deadline on Syria for the delivery of chemical weapons and threaten the use of force . But Russia is opposed to putting too many conditions and especially that of a threat .

Obama's decision to delay the attack was met with a sigh of relief by the people of Damascus. "We are not animals, we are human beings", one woman told AFP . "People must have the opportunity to talk with each other and not kill each other. When I heard that there will be no attacks, I said to myself : Well, there will be less dead."

The woman, dressed in black and with tears in her eyes , was attending the funeral of five Christians from Maalula , killed in clashes between the army and rebels. " Tell the world - she added - that we want peace ."


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