Thursday, October 31, 2013

Syria Destroyed Its Chemical Weapons Production, But How To Deal With 1,000 Metric Tonnes Of Toxic Agents - This Is The Question


Syria has destroyed or rendered inoperable all of its declared chemical weapons production, meeting November 1 deadline in a disarmament program, the international chemical weapons watchdog reported today.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), this year's Nobel Peace winner, said its teams had inspected 21 out of 23 chemical weapons sites across Syria. The remaining two were said to be too dangerous to reach. The chemical equipment, however, had been moved to other sites that experts had visited, OPCW said.
Syria "has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable," it said, meeting a November 1 deadline for the work.
Ralf Trapp, an independent chemical weapons disarmament specialist, added that
"Most of the sites and facilities declared by Syria to the OPCW have been inspected, their inventories verified, equipment for chemical weapons production disabled and put beyond use, and some of the unfilled weapons have also been disabled,"
The next target date is November 15, by when the OPCW and Syria must agree to a detailed plan of destruction, including how and where to destroy more than 1,000 metric tonnes of toxic agents and munitions.
It will be recalled, that under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States, Damascus agreed to destroy all its chemical weapons after Washington threatened to use force in response to the killing of hundreds of people in a sarin attack on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said September 19 that to destroy the country's chemical weapons arsenal would take about a year and require $1 billion.

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