U.S. skeptical that Assad would give up chemical weapons

The U.S. is skeptical that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would put his regime's chemical weapons under international control, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Monday during her daily press briefing. Harf responded to questions about the possibility that Assad's chemical weapons could be given up and controlled internationally. She said the U.S. skepticism is rooted in the atrocities perpetrated by Assad in the last two years.

"Clearly, we have some serious skepticism," Harf said. "Everything that Assad has done over the past two years and before has been to refuse to put his chemical weapons under international control. He hasn't declared them; we've repeatedly called on him to do so. And he's ignored prohibitions against them."

Harf also pointed out that the Russian and Syrian statements on the proposed idea to give up chemical weapon control only happened in the contest of a threat of U.S. military action. She said the chances of Assad giving up his weapons was very unlikely.

"If the Assad regime came forward and said we will give up all of our chemical weapons, put them under international control, clearly, that would be a good thing," Harf said. "We've asked them to do that for years. But everything the Assad regime has done over the past two years and before is in direct opposition to that."