Inspectors visit 11 chemical weapons sites in Syria
Inspectors have visited almost half of Syria's declared chemical weapons sites as part of an ambitious plan to destroy the nation's lethal stockpiles, an international watchdog agency said on Wednesday.
A team of experts in Syria has now “concluded verification activities” at 11 sites, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement. All “were well within government-held territory,” said Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the Hague-based agency overseeing the undertaking.
Inspectors were unable to visit one site because of security issues, Luhan said.
The OPCW's director general, Ahmet Uzumcu, has said that temporary cease-fires may be required to inspect some of the more than 20 sites identified by Syrian officials as chemical weapons facilities. Such inspections would require guarantees of safety from both government and opposition groups.
Syrian officials have said publicly that as many as seven chemical sites may be in areas where anti-government rebels are active.
The joint United Nations-OPCW team is undertaking the unprecedented task of trying to eliminate a nation's chemical arsenal in the middle of a war.
Inspectors must meet a number of tight deadlines, including a Nov. 1 target for rendering Syria's chemical weapons facilities inoperable. Under the U.N.-approved timetable, all of Syria's chemical weapons are to be destroyed by mid-2014.
The accelerated schedule arose from a U.S.-Russian accord that averted U.S. airstrikes in retaliation for a series of poison gas attacks on rebel-held areas outside Damascus, the Syrian capital, on Aug. 21.
The Syrian government denied any role in the attacks and blamed opposition forces.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Guatemalan village expels Jewish group
- 20 rescued from gold mine shaft
- Polish leader, Italian diplomat to fill key EU posts
- Terror threat not foreign, Cameron tells Brits
- Libyan militia accuses Egypt, United Arab Emirates of airstrikes
- With eyes on China, Japan seeks record defense budget
- Paris to celebrate end to Nazi rule 70 years later
- Beijing expected to restrict Hong Kong candidates
- Putin calls for exit corridor for Ukrainian troops trapped in southeast
- Israelis, Hamas ignore Egypt pleas for cease-fire
- ISIS waterboarded Foley, other hostages