Syria: Rebels Attacked Two Chemical Arms Sites

Security Remains a Huge Struggle for Disarmament Effort

Details are still scant on what damage was done, but the Syrian government has confirmed that two different chemical arms storage sites have sustained rebel attack.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal, also confirmed the attack, but at a closed door meeting where the details were also kept a closely guarded secret.

The OPCW and Syria have been careful to keep details of the disarmament process limited, specifically over fears that further details might give the rebels ideas of where things are and what to attack.

The OPCW missed the December 31 deadline for moving all chemical materials from Syria, but the most dangerous chemicals have already departed on ships, so the biggest threats were likely already gone before the rebel hits.

Syrian officials have made much of their eagerness to be rid of the last of their arsenal, and Russia has promised to see the goods ferried to Latakia ports to be shipped abroad, though security risks, underscored by today’s announcement, mean that’s going to remain a difficult long-term proposition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.