Syria's chemical weapons production equipment destroyed

Published: 31 October, 2013 15:21 IST | IANS |

The joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN confirmed Thursday that the Syrian government has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities, rendering them inoperable

In a statement issued Thursday, the OPCW said Syria has met the deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council to "complete as soon as possible and in any case not later than Nov 1, 2013, the destruction of chemical weapons production equipment, including mixing and filling equipment".

The joint OPCW-UN mission has inspected 21 of the 23 sites declared by Syria and 39 of the 41 facilities located at those sites, Xinhua reported.

The two remaining sites were not visited due to safety and security concerns, the statement said, noting, however, that Syria had declared those sites as abandoned and that the chemical weapons programmed items those contained were moved to other declared sites which were inspected.

"The joint mission is now satisfied that it has verified - and seen destroyed - all of Syria's declared critical production equipment," the statement said, noting that "given the progress made in the joint OPCW-UN mission in meeting the requirements of the first phase of activities, no further inspection activities are currently planned".

The next milestone for the mission will be Nov 15 by when the executive council must approve a detailed plan of destruction submitted by Syria to eliminate its chemical weapons stockpile, the statement added.

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