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Putin: World 'On Right Track' In Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin says when it comes to Syria, world powers are "on the right track."
Russian President Vladimir Putin says world powers are "on the right track" with a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

Putin said on October 2 that if global powers continued to work together, "it will not be necessary to use force and increase the number of people wounded or killed" in Syria.

The deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons was worked out by the United States and Russia after a chemical attack on August 21 near Damascus that reportedly killed hundreds.

Western governments say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime was behind the attack and that this was confirmed by a recent report by the UN. The Syrian government and Russia have blamed rebels.

A team of UN experts arrived in Syria on October 1 to begin the process of dismantling the country's chemical weapons arsenal.

Putin said the deal could not have been put in place without support from U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders of many countries.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on October 2 called on the Syrian government to ensure access to hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the country's civil war.

A presidential statement urged Assad's regime to facilitate "safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need through the most effective ways, including across conflict lines and, where appropriate, across borders from neighboring countries."

The presidential statement is legally binding but a step below a resolution.

The UN has predicted that the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries will reach 3 million by the end of the year.

Security Council members last week adopted a resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

It was the first legally binding action by the council, which had been deeply divided over the conflict in Syria.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP