[QODLink]
Middle East

Syria chemical weapons facilities 'destroyed'

All declared equipment and sites for producing chemical weapons rendered unusable, international watchdog OPCW says.

Last Modified: 01 Nov 2013 00:28
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Syria has destroyed all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities, meeting a major deadline in an ambitious disarmament programme, the international chemical weapons watchdog said in a document seen by Reuters news agency.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in the document its teams had inspected 21 out of 23 chemical weapons sites across the country.

The other two were too dangerous to inspect, but the chemical equipment had already been moved to other sites which experts had visited, it said.

"The OPCW is satisfied it has verified, and seen destroyed, all declared critical production, mixing, filling equipment from all 23 sites," the document said.

Al Jazeera's Omar Al Saleh, reporting from Istanbul, said "by November 1, Syria will no longer have the capacity to make new chemical weapons, bringing an end to phase one and phase two".

"Phase three will last to June 2014 and will involve United Nations mission support to monitor all destruction of 1,000 tonnes of chemical weapons. The UN/OPCW has no mandate to destroy them so a UN member state will have to provide technical and operational support.

"But also, we have to be a bit suspicious about the second phase as this is what Syria has declared, and see that other states will agree with Syria on the amount it said it has. Other countries may have their own intelligence," our correspondent said.

Under a Russian-American arranged deal, 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.

The United States and its allies blamed Assad's forces for the attack and several earlier incidents. The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has rejected the charge, blaming rebel brigades.

Under the disarmament timetable, Syria was due to render unusable all production and chemical weapons filling facilities by November 1 - a target it has now met.

By mid-2014 it must have destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons.

361

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list