Is it simply a tactic to delay military intervention, or rather the last chance for diplomacy? President Obama says he is looking at the Russian proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control, although he is sceptical about it. Is it still possible to prevent a military strike against the Assad regime?
For Barack Obama and the United States, what is at stake is credibility. By using chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad crossed a 'red line' not just in Obama's mind, but in the eyes of the world.
Yet Russia and China do not accept the evidence. Countries such as Germany are pressing for further investigation of the alleged chemical attack. Even in the US Congress it is questionable that a majority can be found to support military action, especially since many Democrats oppose the idea. If it does decide to strike, the United States will have to do so without the backing of the United Nations. Russia and China would almost certainly block a resolution in the Security Council.
The international calls for a diplomatic solution are growing in intensity. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has warned that military intervention could lead to a regional escalation of the conflict and many more deaths. Is it possible to solve the crisis over chemical weapons peacefully? And how would a solution affect the further course of this bloody civil war?
Tell us what you think: Syria - a Solution to the Dilemma?
Houssam Aldeen - is a Syrian journalist who has been living since the end of 2012 in exile in Berlin. In his home country he worked as a theater director and as a documentary filmmaker. Working with film crews from Western countries, he made documentaries about social problems in Syria, in particular the difficulties faced by Iraqi refugees. He was arrested five times by the Syrian authorities, and was eventually only able to work in secret, before he fled abroad.
Frederik Pleitgen- has been working as the Berlin correspondent for CNN, since January 2007. Prior to this he was political editor at German public service broadcaster ZDF, and had previously worked at private news broadcaster n-tv as a reporter and executive producer. Mr Pleitgen read North American Studies at Bonn and Berlin. He has also attended the New York School of Journalism.
Sergej Sumlenny– After studying journalism at Moscow University Sumlenny first worked as producer in the ARD Moscow bureau, then for business TV network RBC TV, becoming chief editor of the “World Business” newscast. In 2005 he came to Germany as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, taking a doctorate in political science. Today he is the Germany correspondent of the business journal “Expert.” His book “Nemetskaya System” (The German System), which probes the social and economic mechanisms in German society, was published in 2010.