Sept 11 (Reuters) - Here is a snapshot of Reuters news about the crisis in Syria:
* Diplomatic efforts to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control intensified as U.N. rights investigators concluded Syrian government forces were almost certainly responsible for two May massacres that killed up to 450 civilians in that nation's bloody civil war.
* U.S. lawmakers expressed skepticism about the success of an international diplomatic push to get Syria to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal, as deep disagreements remained with Moscow over whether to maintain a military threat.
* Russia has given the United States its plan for placing Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under international control and intends to discuss it on Thursday in Geneva, according to the Interfax news agency, citing a Russian source.
* If Saddam Hussein's Iraq is anything to go by, destroying Syria's massive chemical weapons arsenal will mean checking dozens of far-flung sites in a war zone while the government employs delaying tactics to hide the banned munitions, an expert involved in past U.N. disarmament missions said.
* France said it remained determined to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over what it calls his use of chemical weapons if diplomacy fails, and a military strike was still possible.
* U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to explore a diplomatic plan from Russia to take away Syria's chemical weapons, but voiced skepticism about it and urged Americans to support his threat to use military force if needed.
* An initial French draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution would demand that Syria make a complete declaration of its chemical weapons program within 15 days and immediately open all related sites to U.N. inspectors or face possible punitive measures, Reuters has learned.
"If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons ... As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them." - U.S. President Barack Obama
"(The proposal) can work only if we hear that the American side and all those who support the United States in this sense reject the use of force." - Russian President Vladimir Putin
"For this diplomatic option to have a chance of succeeding, the threat of a U.S. military action - the credible, real threat of U.S. military action - must continue." - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to the House Armed Services Committee.
* U.S. stocks edged higher, lifting the S&P 500 for its seventh straight day of gains, as concern over a possible U.S.-led strike on Syria ebbed and investors bet the Federal Reserve would trim its stimulus measures only slightly.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 104.35 points or 0.69 percent, at 15,295.34, the S&P 500 was up 3.04 points or 0.18 percent, to 1,687.13, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.472 points or 0.14 percent, to 3,723.656.
* Envoys from the five permanent U.N. Security Council member states to meet in New York on Wednesday to discuss plans to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control, diplomats said.
* U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva for talks on Syria, and also plans to meet U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi while there. (Compiled by David Brunnstrom in Washington)