Syria Chemical Disarmament Starts Tuesday, Expected to Move Quickly

Most of Syria's Stockpile 'Unweaponized' Already

The UN Security Council’s resolution on chemical weapons disarmament in Syria is increasingly irrelevant, as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has already got its plan in place, and is set to start with disarmament Tuesday.

At this point that will just mean OPCW inspectors arriving to examine the stockpile, but there is an extremely ambitious timetable, aiming to have the project completed within a matter of months.

It might even be possible, according to leaked assessments from US and Russian officials, which say that most of Syria’s stockpile is just “unweaponized” vats of precursors that could only theoretically be used to make weapons, and that they can easily be rendered inert.

The estimates from the US say that the arsenal amounts to only about 300 tons of actual blister agents and a huge amount of precursors, and other than the fact that the process is taking place in the middle of a civil war, it could be a pretty straightforward disarmament.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of