Syria’s Chemical Weapons Gone, But Israel’s and Egypt’s Remain

OPCW Urges Nations to Push Egypt, Israel on Disarmament

The disarmament of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has been a smashing success, with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reporting everything gone, and the last factories to be destroyed this year.

The OPCW’s disarmament goals don’t end at the Syrian border, however, and they warn that Israel and Egypt both retain substantial chemical weapons arsenals of their own.

Israel and Egypt, along with Myanmar, Angola, North Korea, and South Sudan, are not signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Angola and Myanmar are both in the process of ratifying it, and South Sudan is so new a country they haven’t gotten around to it.

Details about the respective arsenals are Israel, which is also the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East, and the Egyptian military junta are unclear, though Egypt in particular is known to have thousands of tons of chemical arms.

With literally everybody else disarmed, and Israel and Egypt close allies, there’s no reason for either to retain the chemical weapons, and the OPCW urged nations on good terms with the two to push them into ratifying the treaty.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of