86 Percent of Syria’s Chemical Arsenal Destroyed

Rebels Start Hyping Allegations of Chlorine Gas Use

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) today confirmed Syria has handed over the remnant precursors for roughly 86% of its chemical arsenal for destruction abroad, and is on track to finish the process in the weeks to come.

Exporting the chemicals has been difficult as rebels control much of the area around the port of Latakia, from which the chemicals are departing, and it is unclear if the US will meet the destruction deadline of June 30. If not, expect the US to angrily condemn Syria over it.

But as Syria’s actual chemical arsenal stops being an issue, rebels are now pressing allegations of Syria using primitive makeshift chemical weapons against rebel sites.

The claim is that Syria is taking industrial chlorine gas and sticking it in barrel bombs, and has injured some people in a handful of towns in this manner. Chlorine gas would not need to be listed as a scheduled chemical since it was neither produced nor stockpiled for intent to use as a weapon.

Syria’s military accused the rebels of using the chemicals last week, and so far there is no conclusive proof that either actually intentionally released the gas.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.