Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have once again offered an assessment of their ongoing disarmament operations in Syria, reporting that they are on pace to easily meet the first major milestone.
That milestone is to have destroyed all equipment in Syria that is used for the production and mixing of chemical arms, and the UN imposed timetable gave the OPCW until November 1 to get it done.
This means that by the end of October Syria will no longer have any ability to mix weapons out of their precursors, nor any ability to load weaponized chemicals into warheads.
The OPCW is overseeing the destruction, but it is the Syrians themselves who are actually doing it. The reports are that the destruction of equipment is mostly centering around smashing stuff with hammers, and filling mixing vats with concrete so they can’t be used.
The OPCW has visited 18 of Syria’s 23 sites, and the only real obstacle to any of the deadlines seems to be that the ongoing civil war may make certain sites, closer to contested territory, difficult to access.
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