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Syria meets filing deadline on chemical weapons

| Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, 8:00 p.m.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The Syrian government has met an international deadline to submit a detailed declaration of its chemical weapons facilities and a plan to destroy the nation's toxic arsenal, the group overseeing the disarmament process said on Sunday.

Syria had until Sunday to present its declaration and the related proposal for destruction to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a Hague-based organization supervising the elimination of Syria's chemical stockpiles. Syria previously provided an initial inventory of its chemical sites, but the new filing is considered more comprehensive and detailed.

In a news release, the OPCW said Syria had submitted the required documentation on Thursday. The statement did not come as a surprise. OPCW officials have repeatedly praised Syria for its cooperation and had predicted that the Oct. 27 deadline would be met.

No details of the Syrian government's submission were made public.

In general, the OPCW said, such declarations “provide the basis on which plans are devised for a systematic, total and verified destruction of declared chemical weapons and production facilities.”

Syria's plan for destruction will now go before the OPCW's executive council for consideration, the agency said.

International inspectors have been in Syria since Oct. 1 in the start of a United Nations-backed mission to destroy Syria's chemical stockpiles by mid-2014.

The OPCW faces a Friday deadline to end Syria's ability to produce chemical weapons. Inspectors have been working to render inoperable all equipment needed to mix and fill chemical agents into munitions.

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