Syria Misses Self-Imposed Chemical Weapons Deadline

Only 92.5% of Chemicals Shipped Abroad

While there was a lot of speculation about whether or not they’d meet it, Syria’s self-imposed deadline of April 27 for the removal of all chemical precursors from its chemical weapons program has been missed.

Not by much, though. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) estimated the current removal at 92.5%, based on figures a few days old, and Syria is expected to get the remainder out pretty quickly.

The OPCW went on to confirm that the chemical weapons program, as defined by the OPCW itself, no longer exists, and what remains inside Syria is just chemical components of weapons.

The UN Security Council has sought the complete destruction of Syria’s arsenal and precursors by June 30, but whether that gets done depends largely on how quickly the last of the chemicals are exported.

Syria has been shipping the chemicals to the port city of Latakia, where Russian ships take them to an offshore disintegration platform run by the US. Getting the chemicals safely to Latakia has become increasingly difficult, as it requires shipping them through rebel territory, and several shipments have come under attack by al-Qaeda-linked rebel factions.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.