Russia said its ally Syria would soon ship more chemical weapons abroad for destruction after being accused of dragging its feet, while activists said civilians in Aleppo were fleeing deadly barrel bomb raids by President Bashar al-Assad’s air force.
Moscow also said on Tuesday that the Syrian government would show up at a new round of peace talks next week, hoping to allay Western concerns over Assad’s commitment to negotiations which ended inconclusively in Geneva last week.
The diplomatic assurances come as government forces escalate their assault on Syria’s second city of Aleppo, using a near daily barrage of barrel bombs that some activists say is forcing residents to flee and slowly gaining ground for the president against rebel forces weakened by weeks of infighting.
Raise your hand if this actually makes you feel any better about the startlingly low percentage of chemical munitions that the Syrian government has actually surrendered to international forces since promising to do-so last year..
15:45 // 6 months ago
Syria has destroyed or rendered inoperable all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities, meeting a major deadline in an ambitious disarmament program, the international chemical weapons watchdog said Thursday.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which won the Nobel Peace prize this month, said its teams had inspected 21 out of 23 chemical weapons sites across the country. The other two were too dangerous to inspect, but the chemical equipment had already been moved to other sites that experts had visited, it said.
Under the terms of a disarmament agreement reached earlier this year, the Syrian government has until Nov. 15 to present a “detailed plan of destruction” for the roughly 1,000 metric tons of chemical agents and munitions found in or recovered from 23 different production facilities.
15:45 // 10 months ago
Syria has begun sending details of its chemical weapons as part of a US-Russia brokered deal to make them safe, the chemical arms watchdog has said.
The Hague-based OPCW added that it expected more details from Syria in the coming days and had postponed a meeting planned for Sunday.
Syria was given a Saturday deadline to give a full list of its chemical arms.
The OPCW, by the way, stands for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
15:51 // 11 months ago