A couple of weeks again, many conservative Congressional leaders were complaining about President Obama's approach in handling the disarmament of Syria's chemical weapons. So far, it appears that things are going as planned and scheduled, according to a report from Foreign Policy.
This is a complicated process, but it has gotten off the ground. The report here highlights that in the civil war that continues around the Bashar al Assad government, there are factional fights among the rebels that include the al Qaeda and affiliates.
One reason why Russia was slow to withdraw support from the Assad regime is over fear that al Qaeda will emerge a victor. That is not the only reason, but one that is shared by the U.S.
In a different report this past week, there is news about the CIA's small effort to train a couple hundred rebels that are more inclined to back U.S. foreign policy. Those rebels are dwarfed by a much larger force of Islamic radicals. The CIA initiative is probably just an effort to get some boots on the ground in a most hostile territory.
So, score progress for weapons inspectors and zero for the U.S. Congress in getting its own "house" in order.
"Chemical weapons inspectors make progress in Syria
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said its team of inspectors in Syria has made "encouraging initial progress" after meetings with government officials. The team intends to begin site inspections and the disabling of equipment at production facilities within the next week, however the schedule will be determined after meeting with Syrian experts.
According to the OPCW, the team has begun working with the Syrian authorities to secure sites where the inspectors will operate. Meanwhile, fighting between the al Qaeda affiliate the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Free Syrian Army's Northern Strom brigade has continued over the strategic town of Azaz, near the Turkish border.
On Thursday Turkey's Parliament voted to extend a mandate for a year to deploy troops into Syria if necessary, as the neighboring conflict increasingly raises concerns over Turkey's national security. The motion, proposed by the ruling AK Party, has been widely expected to pass.
In an interview with the Turkish Halk TV, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad castigated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for allowing foreign fighters to enter Syria, blaming the Turkish government for the deaths of thousands of Syrians and the destruction of Syrian infrastructure. Additionally, Assad said it is too early to say whether he will seek a third term in elections next year. Assad stated, "If I have a feeling that the Syrian people want me to be president in the coming period I will run for the post. If the answer is no, I will not run."