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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Chemical-Disarmers Air Guarded Optimism on Syria as Work Starts
Technical crews on Friday prepared to begin eliminating Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical-warfare capabilities, following the conclusion of government consultations about which an international watchdog said it is cautiously optimistic, Agence France-Presse reported.
"Documents handed over [on Wednesday] by the Syrian government look promising, according to team members," the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a Thursday statement. However, "further analysis, particularly of technical diagrams, will be necessary and some more questions remain to be answered."
Disarmament workers next week could begin traveling to chemical-weapon facilities to disable gear, according to the OPCW press release. The timing, though, would depend on developments within three subgroups charged with confirming chemical-arms declarations by Damascus, protecting auditors in the field and making "practical arrangements" to inventory and dismantle the Syrian government's full chemical-warfare stockpile by the middle of next year. The group faces an initial Nov. 1 deadline to eliminate the Assad regime's chemical-weapon production capacity.
In remarks aired on Friday, Assad continued to deny that his government was behind an Aug. 21 sarin-gas strike believed to have killed over 1,400 people, AFP reported.
Any use of the regime's chemical weapons would require high-level authorization, he told the Turkish television channel Halk TV.
"Preparing these weapons is a complex technical operation, [and] requires a central order from the army chief of staff," he said. "As a result it is impossible that they were used."
A senior Russian diplomat on Thursday said "it will not be easy to get to the places where chemical weapons or some components are located," ITAR-Tass reported.
"Chemical arsenals are under control of the Syrian government, but I think not all of them," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov added.
Oct. 31, 2013
This CNS issue brief examines the lessons learned from dismantling Libya and Iraq's chemical weapons programs and what these two cases presage for disarmament in Syria. In particular, this article explores the challenges relating to ensuring material and physical security for both inspectors and the chemical weapons stockpile itself; verifying the accuracy and completeness of disclosed inventories; and developing effective monitoring and verification regimes for the long-term. The conclusion examines recommendations stemming from this analysis.
Oct. 21, 2013
The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.
This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.