US: Syria’s Chemical Weapons List ‘Surprisingly Complete’

Assad: Rebels Might Make Some Sites Tough to Access

US officials were all set for Syria to miss the seven day “deadline” to deliver its lists official accounting of chemical weapons, but Syria took them by surprise, delivering the list a day early.

US officials familiar with the disclosure to the Office for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) say that the list is also surprisingly complete, which managed to lead officials to concede that it was an “encouraging” sign.

It is, of course, but that’s not the narrative the US has been pushing, and they’ve been so eager to dub Syria in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in the days since they signed it and so desperate to get international authorization for a war when that first inevitable hiccup comes, that an admission of progress is really surprising.

Beyond the US, Syrian President Bashar Assad affirmed his government’s willingness to let international experts access the sites, saying they’d be fine with doing so more or less immediately, but warning that some of the sites might not be easy to reach because of fighting with rebels.

That concern is very real, with Syria in the middle of an enormous civil war. Though officials see this as a process to be wrapped up by mid-2014, the reality is that it has been a multi-decade problem in other nations, and those nations didn’t have civil wars to complicate matters.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.