Expectations that Syria would have the last of the chemical precursors from its dismantled weapons program shipped out of the country by February 5 have proven over-optimistic, and even the end of the month plan seems in tatters, as Syria has now offered a new “100-day plan” that would get things done around the end of May.
Western officials are complaining already, with British Foreign Office officials terming it “not adequate” and saying it would keep the plan for having all those chemicals destroyed by June 30 from being met. The US, which is planning to disincorporate the chemicals at sea, says it needs 90 days from receipt to destruction.
US officials once again accused the Syrians of “dragging their feet” on the shipment, but the problem is much more complex than that, with the ships expected to come out of Latakia, which is deep in rebel-held territory.
Islamist rebel factions have already made multiple attempts against the chemical shipments in the past, and the danger of getting the massive amount of precursors out of the country through rebel territory has stalled the shipments repeatedly.