Another major milestone reached, and a key deadline met today, after inspectors confirmed today that Syria has destroyed the last remnants of its chemical weapons manufacturing capability. The facilities have been sealed, pending the removal of some 1,000 tons of chemical agents and several hundred tons of weaponry.
The UN Security Council set an artificially early deadline for Syria to reach this goal, much earlier than that dictated by Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), but despite concerns about reaching the last couple of sites, everything was completed before the end of the month.
The process of getting the chemicals out of the country is going to be a long one, with big questions about where they’ll actually be sent. Norway has turned down calls to take them, as has Lebanon.
There’s also some question about what will happen to the physical buildings that were used as factories. The initial assumption was that they would be destroyed, but with much of the nation’s industrial base destroyed in the ongoing civil war, Syria is pushing to keep the factories standing, in hopes of converting them to something else.