US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Friday that Syrian President Bashar Assad had barely dented his stockpile of chemical weapons in an alleged attack near Damascus last month.
"We assess that although Assad used more chemical weapons on August 21 than he had before, he has barely put a dent in his enormous stockpile," she said at the Center for American Progress think tank in Washington.
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"We have exhausted the alternatives" to military action, she said, adding that Assad must have weighed the fact that Russia would back him in the controversy over his alleged use of chemical weapons and it was naive to think Russia would change.
Power added: "It is naive to think Russia is on verge of changing position on Syria," adding that "Assad must have weighed fact that Russia would have Syria's back on chemical weapons."
Earlier Friday, Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin held an unannounced meeting, which both said was “constructive.” The US president said he and his Russian counterpart agreed the underlying conflict in Syria could only be resolved through a political transition. Obama also said he thinks it is important that he and Putin work together to urge all sides in the conflict to try to resolve it.
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