No Evidence, But US Keeps Expressing ‘Doubts’ on Syria Chemical Disarmament

US Says Willingness to Disarm 'Strains Credulity'

There’s absolutely no evidence to back the allegation, and indeed ample evidence in the form of reports from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the contrary, but the US is still expressing “skepticism” about Syria’s chemical disarmament.

It was US demands that led the UN Security Council to set artificially early deadlines for several stages of the disarmament, and the OPCW has confirmed Syria has met every single one with time to spare.

Still, officials keep anonymously leaking their doubts to the press, insisting not that Syria is doing anything specifically in violation of the disarmament deal, but that they just generally don’t believe Syria would ever agree to disarm voluntarily, and is probably trying to hide some arms for the “long term” as a hedge against Israel.

Which of course ignores how chemical weapons work. The whole reason most of Syria’s arsenal is unweaponized chemicals and that the OPCW has focused entirely on destroying production capacity is because such arms have a relatively short shelf life, and can’t just get stashed in the desert for decades.

US officials set all these early dates and were prepared to condemn Syria for missing them, but now that they haven’t they’re stuck complaining about literally nothing. Meanwhile, the only real obstacles to the OPCW mission are their dwindling funds and the difficulty of reaching sites close to US-backed rebel fighters.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of