The US and Russia have agreed a deal for securing Syria's chemical weapons, with Moscow admitting they will consider military strikes against Syria for the first time.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have finally agreed on what measure should be taken if the Assad regime fails to hand over its chemical weapons.
Syria's chemical weapons must be destroyed or removed by mid-2014 under the landmark agreement.
If Assad fails to comply, the deal could be enforced by a UN resolution backed by the threat of sanctions or military force.
At a news conference, Kerry said the pair and their teams of experts had reached "a shared assessment" of Syria's weapons stockpile and that Syria must destroy all of its weapons.
"There can be no room for games. Or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime," he said.
The diplomats announced on the third day of intense negotiations in Geneva that some elements of the deal include a timetable and how Syria must comply.
Mr Kerry said arms inspectors must be on the ground in Syria by November and the weapons must all be handed over by mid-2014.
"We have committed to a standard that says, verify and verify," he said.
Lavrov called the agreements a "decision based on consensus and compromise and professionalism."
He added the pair had agreed on grounds under which they might request a Security Council "Chapter 7" resolution — authorising both military and non-military sanctions.
The U.S. and Russia are two of the five permanent Security Council members with a veto. The others are Britain, China, and France.
Kerry said any violations will result in "measures" from the Security Council, while Lavrov said the violations must be sent to the Security Council from the board of the chemical weapons convention before sanctions — short of the use of force — would be considered.
"Any violations of procedures ... would be looked at by the Security Council and if they are approved, the Security Council would take the required measures, concrete measures," Lavrov said. "Nothing is said about the use of force or about any automatic sanctions. All violations should be approved by the Security Council."