Syria's chemical arms production equipment destroyed
Posted Thursday, October 31 2013 at 12:31
The Hague - All of Syria's declared chemical arms production equipment has been destroyed ahead of a Friday deadline, a source at the world's chemical weapons watchdog said.
"Syria has completed rendering inoperable its chemical weapons production and assembly installations," the source at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said, asking to remain anonymous ahead of an official announcement later Thursday.
Inspectors had until Friday to visit all of Syria's chemical sites and destroy all production and filling equipment in accordance with a timeline laid down by the Hague-based OPCW and backed by a UN Security Council resolution passed last month.
The resolution was agreed by the US and Russia to avert military strikes on Syria after deadly chemical weapons attacks outside Damascus in August, which the West blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
A first monthly report of the inspectors, covering their work on the ground since October 1, has been sent to the UN Security Council by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
The OPCW's Executive Council will use the Syrian declaration to decide by November 15 on "destruction milestones" for Syria's arsenal.
Syria has also sent in a declaration of its chemical weapons activities and facilities, meeting its obligations as a new state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.