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Cyprus Agrees to Host Syria Chemical Disarmers

Armed fighters of the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People on Wednesday walk in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain amid fighting the country's multi-faceted war. On Friday the island nation of Cyprus said it will welcome crews charged with ensuring the elimination of chemical arms in Syria (AFP/Getty Images).
Armed fighters of the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People on Wednesday walk in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain amid fighting the country's multi-faceted war. On Friday the island nation of Cyprus said it will welcome crews charged with ensuring the elimination of chemical arms in Syria (AFP/Getty Images).

The island nation of Cyprus on Friday said it would welcome a planned operations hub for international crews charged with ensuring the elimination of chemical arms in civil-war-torn Syria, the Associated Press reported.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week called for creation of the post, set to be located at a largely unused airfield in the island's internationally demilitarized border area.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's government in September admitted possessing chemical weapons, weeks after a nerve-gas strike in rebel-held territory pushed the United States to the brink of potential military action against the regime in Damascus. Assad agreed to the chemical arsenal's elimination, leading to a fast-track disarmament push overseen by United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The center's location would enable international personnel to fly directly into Syria by helicopter, according to AP.

The chemical-disarmament team audited three additional Syrian locations since Wednesday, raising its total count of inspected sites to 14, according to an OPCW statement from Friday.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Washington denied an Assad deputy's Thursday assertion that plans were in place to hold a Nov. 23-24 Syria peace meeting, Reuters reported.

NTI Analysis

  • Disarming Syria of Its Chemical Weapons: Lessons Learned from Iraq and Libya

    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.

  • UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection

    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.

Country Profile

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Syria

This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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