More chemical inspectors to be sent to Syria
The international chemical weapons watchdog said Tuesday it will send a second team of inspectors to reinforce its mission to destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal.
“Current developments represent a constructive beginning but there is no doubt that it will be long and difficult,” Ahmet Uzumcu Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said, Al Arabiya correspondent reported.
The chemical watchdog has until mid-2014 to complete the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution that followed a brokered US-Russian deal.
The plan was launched after a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21, in which hundreds - Washington claims around 1,400 - people died.
The Syrian government presented additional information on October, 4 and Syrian officials have started destroying the chemical arsenal on October 6, Uzumcu said, speaking at the opening session of the OPCW’s executive council.
A range of items was also being destroyed “towards the goal of rendering unusable all production facilities and mixing and filling equipment by 1 November of this year,” a statement released by the organization was quoted by Agence France-Presse.
Uzumcu also added that a deal providing for the UN to facilitate security and field logistics for the mission will be inked shortly, according to AFP.
Russia and the United States have reached a decision on how to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapon arsenal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry, Reuters reported.
- Additional British forces sent to the Gulf; Iraq agrees to further cooperation with U.N. inspectors
- UN Security council praises progress in Syria, backs joint chemical weapons mission
- Four more empty chemical warheads found in Iraq; U.S., Turkey hold high level military talks
- Russia sends more equipment to Syria for chemical arms destruction