As three army shellings and shootings tormented Syria on August 21st, American President Barack Obama stepped forward to announce the United States' intentions to interfere in the conflict if Damascus attempted to move or deploy unconventional weapons. Obama told reporters that the movement or utilization of such weapons was "a red line." Intelligence officials have reason to believe that Syrian government, headed by President Bashar al'Assad, has a large amount of chemical weapons, but are still unsure as to whether they possess biological weapons (Cave). .
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister, Jamil Qadri, and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, met in Moscow to discuss the 18-month-long conflict raging across Syria. The conflict recently spiked after the Alawites, a new group of militia, found at least 40 bodies in the basement of a mosque. In addition to the fighting in Aleppo and Damascus, the cemetery where funeral mourners had gathered to lay these bodies to rest was shelled, but it is still not known how many were killed. The victims found in the mosque are just the third example of a mass killing by government troops or their supporters, likely a result of Assad's campaign of extrajudicial killings aimed at weakening the opposition's civilian support (Cave). .
Because of his oppressive nature, the United States has repeatedly asked for Assad to resign. The Deputy Prime Minister Qadri made a statement proclaiming that the government was ready to discuss all issues, including Assad's resignation, but that he would not do it as a condition for negotiations. However, Qadri and Lavrov, in their news conference at the Russian Foreign Ministry, berated the United States for using the matter of unconventional weapons as an excuse to interfere in Syria's conflicts (Cave). They also called Obama's statements "propagandistic threats" that were aimed more for gaining favor in the upcoming presidential elections (Karam).