Weapons watchdog 'misses' 2 Syrian sites

2013-10-28 21:54
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Amsterdam - Safety concerns have prevented inspectors from a global chemical weapons watchdog from reaching two of the 23 sites declared by Syria as part of an agreement to destroy its toxic arsenal, the organisation said on Monday.

The Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had verified 21 sites up to 27 Oct, the deadline agreed as part of Syria's destruction programme.

"The two remaining sites have not been visited due to security reasons," the OPCW, which won the Nobel Peace prize this month, said in a statement.

Visiting the sites has posed serious dangers for the inspectors with fighting continuing to rage in a 2-1/2 year civil war that has killed more than 100 000 people.

"Efforts by the Joint Mission [with the UN] to ensure the conditions necessary for safe access to those sites will continue," the statement said.

The location of the remaining sites was not provided by the OPCW, but an official speaking on condition of anonymity said "one is empty and the other is also otherwise not that important".

By another deadline next Friday, Syria must have rendered unusable all production and chemical weapons filling facilities. By mid-2014 it must have destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons.

Syria has not revealed the exact size of its arsenal, but experts believe it includes roughly 1 000 metric tons of nerve agents, including sarin, mustard and VX.

Under a Russian-American brokered deal, Damascus agreed to destroy all its chemical weapons after Washington threatened to use force in response to the killing of hundreds of people in a poison gas attack on 2 August.

Read more on:    opcw  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.