Narrow Escape for Bashar al-Assad?

The regime of Syrian president Bashar al Assad has hailed "victory" after the U.S. and Russia announced an agreement to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons, which pushes back the likelihood of a military intervention, though one of Syria's rebel groups have said this allows Assad to go unpunished.

"We welcome these agreements," Syrian National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar shared with a Russian news agency, according to "On the one hand, they will help Syrians come out of the crisis, and on the other hand, they prevented the war against Syria by having removed a pretext for those who wanted to unleash it (war)."

"This is a victory for Syria won thanks to our Russian friends," Haidar added.

Assad's regime has been accused by U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders of using chemical weapons on civilians in August, which resulted in the deaths of 1,429 people, more than 400 of who were children. The Syrian government has blamed the attacks on rebels with which it has been engaged in a two-and-a-half year civil war, claims which have been backed by Russia who insist that the U.S. does not have solid evidence to prove that Assad should be held accountable.