US Accuses Syria of ‘Stalling’ on Chemical Disarmament

Claims They're Keeping Useless Chemicals as 'Leverage'

The Obama Administration continues to rail at what has by all other accounts been a very successful chemical weapons disarmament in Syria, accusing the nation of “stalling” because they fell slightly short of a self-imposed deadline to have all the chemicals out of the country by last Friday. Syria got only 92.5% out by then.

Syria has struggled to get those shipments out of the country through Latakia port, as the city lies in a rebel-dominated region, and many shipments have come under attack. US officials not only claimed this was proof of “stalling,” but claimed Syria intended to keep that 7.5% as “leverage.”

Yet what possible leverage this would give them is totally unclear, as the remaining chemicals are not in a usable form and are essentially just in the way. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), overseeing the dismantlement, confirmed that Syria’s program is effectively already gone, and they would have no practical way to use the chemicals they haven’t gotten rid of.

If anything, Syria has been scrambling to meet or exceed deadlines as a way of thumbing their nose at US claims the disarmament would never happen. When compared to other major chemical weapons nations, like the United States, Syria’s disarmament in a few short months is remarkable.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.