News On Iran & Its NeighboursSyriaSyria misses another deadline for chemical weapons destruction

Syria misses another deadline for chemical weapons destruction

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UPI: The Syrian government missed the critical target date of Feb. 5 to remove all of their chemical weapons from the country for destruction. According to the chemical weapons deal the weapons were to be moved out of Syria by Feb. 5.

 

United Press International

By Aileen Graef  

ALEPPO, Syria (UPI) — The Syrian government missed the critical target date of Feb. 5 to remove all of their chemical weapons from the country for destruction.

According to the chemical weapons deal, after the UN cataloged the inventory and destroyed the country’s ability to produce or use chemical weapons, the weapons were to be moved out of Syria by Feb. 5 to a U.S. navy vessel that would destroy them at sea. The U.S. reports that less than 5 percent of the 1,300 tons of weapons have been removed from the country. If this rate continues, the removal will not be completed this year.

U.S. officials believe that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is deliberately stalling the removal. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Andrew Weber said in a press conference, “Our concern is that the Syrians are dragging their feet. They’re not moving fast enough. They’ve missed a very important target date of the 5th of February to have all chemical weapons out of Syria.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials say that this delay has been dramatized. While attending negotiations with the Syrians, they said they had been told the weapons would be removed by March.

Despite these reassurances, the UN says Syria must move faster. Michael Luhan of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told the BBC, “Obviously there are some serious security issues that the Syrian government has to deal with and there has been inclement weather but these chemical weapons components must be removed and destroyed in their entirety from Syria by the 30th of June. That 30 June deadline is what we have our eyes on. We continue to believe it’s possible.”

The Syrian Civil War has continued to escalate with the regime being accused of using barrel bombs against civilians.

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