Could Syria’s Chemical Weapons Be Heading to Sea?

UN Demands Disarmament Take Place Abroad

The United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) included a lot of artificially sped-up deadlines, but perhaps the most onerous clause was one calling on the weapons destruction to take place outside of Syria.

It made sense at the time, since Syria was (and still is) embroiled in an ugly civil war with no end in sight. The problem is that every nation so far asked has turned down taking those weapons in for destruction, and while officials maintain there are “190” different nations to choose from, the practical list is much shorter, and dwindling.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), charged with handling all this, says now that with no one stepping forward, they’re considering trying to build some sort of offshore chemical rig somewhere at sea, technically “outside” of Syria, just so they have somewhere to do the work.

Japan destroyed its chemical arms at sea, but they had a much smaller arsenal, and if Syria’s enormous stockpile of chemicals was too daunting for small nations like Norway or Albania to handle, it seems ridiculous to imagine doing it all aboard ships.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of