Syria’s ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) came two days ago, but the United States and Russia have just finally gotten around to making their own separate “deal” on the process.
That deal was negotiated entirely outside of the boundaries of the CWC’s own process, and the nations agreed to impose extra demands on Syria, the most prominent of which is replacing the 30-day deadline of the CWC for an accounting of the arsenal with a demand for Syria to complete the process in seven days. They are also seeking to have the destruction finished by mid-2014, though how realistic that is remains to be seen.
That might not be easy, as Syria is believed to have one of the largest remaining arsenals int he world, and much of it has been moved around several times in the past two years, in an attempt to keep the arms off the front lines and prevent rebel seizures.
The side deal underpins a UN Security Council resolution that will, according to the latest information, include threats for “sanctions” against Syria if the disarmament process slows. The deal will not include any authorization for war, however.