United Nations Security Council members met Wednesday to try to hammer out a resolution to get Syria to give up its chemical weapons. It wasn't clear Wednesday night how much progress they'd made.
Reaching a deal will be tough. U.S. and French officials want to include the threat of military action in the event Syria doesn't comply, but Russian officials don't want any wording that could countenance the use of force.
The disagreement came days after Russia and the United States reached a rare agreement on Syria -- a plan for eliminating the country's chemical weapons stockpile. Even Syria agreed to the plan, and U.S. President Barack Obama has held back on possible military action while diplomatic options play out.
But even before seeing a Security Council resolution, the Syrian regime claimed an international win.
Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi told the Syrian Cabinet about "brilliant victories of the Syrian diplomacy realized ... in terms of preventing the U.S. from launching a military aggression against Syria," the Syrian Arab News Agency reported Wednesday.
But the diplomacy hasn't stopped bloodshed. The opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria reported Wednesday that regime forces killed 24 people in the village of Kafr Zeiba in Idlib province.
The Syrian opposition has blamed al-Assad's government for the violence and called for his ouster.
Al-Assad told Fox News that his government can't back down on what he called a fight against terrorism, arguing that 80%-90% of rebels have ties to al Qaeda or other extremist groups. Civilian casualties in the Syrian conflict, he argued, have come from rebel attacks and from his government's attempts to root out terrorists from residential areas.
"The army has to go there and get rid of terrorists. The army should defend citizens. You cannot leave them free, killing people, beheading people, eating their hearts," he said. "In every way, you have casualties. This is war. (There is) no clean war, no soft war, no good war."