Published Thursday Oct.31, 2013 10.09 a.m. CEST
Update Thursday Oct.31, 2013 8.39 p.m. CEST
Life continues with usual activities in Damascus, while Syria faces civil war obstacles and continuous pressure of international community for chemical weapons disarmament.
A joint mission of Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and United Nation Mission work on the filed in Syria to destroy declared facilities and stockpile.
OPWC and U.N. Mission confirmed Thursday Oct.31, 2013 , Syria “has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable”, international organization published today via its Twitter account.
The OPCW inspectors had visited all 23 chemical weapons sites but for two in areas, U.N. reports were not visited due safety concern reasons.
According to OPCW press release “The Joint Mission is now satisfied that it has verified – and seen destroyed – all of Syria’s declared critical production and mixing/filling equipment. Given the progress made in the Joint OPCW-UN Mission in meeting the requirements of the first phase of activities, no further inspection activities are currently planned”.
The destruction of chemical weapons facilities was on time with the set deadline of November 1, 2013 with U.S. – Russia agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons disarmament.
OPCW says next step will be November 15th, when the Executive Council should give a green light for a detailed plan of destruction of chemical weapons stockpile, that Syria submitted.
Earlier on Thursday Oct. 31, 2013 Reuters agency reports in exclusive article: Syria has destroyed chemical production facilities-watchdog that: “the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in the document its teams had inspected 21 out of 23 chemical weapons sites across the country.
The other two were too dangerous to inspect but the chemical equipment had already been moved to other sites which experts had visited”.
According to Reuters article the document stated: “The OPCW is satisfied it has verified, and seen destroyed, all declared critical production/mixing/filling equipment from all 23 sites,”
After the process of destroying chemical weapons production facilities, “Syria’s entire declared stock of chemical weapons has been placed under seal, a watchdog said Thursday, as peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi wrapped up a Syria visit to muster support for Geneva talks”,reports AFP, published by http://www.channelnewsasia.com.
“All stocks of chemical weapons and agents have been placed under seals that are impossible to break,” Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) spokesman Christian Chartier told AFP, adding the seals were “tamper proof”.
“The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons has begun, international monitors have said. The operation is being overseen by a team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW”), reports BBC in the article Syria chemical arms removal begins, underlying that: “It is the first time the OPCW – based in The Hague – has been asked to oversee the destruction of a chemical weapons armoury during a conflict”.
The operation starts on the basis of U.N. resolution voted by 15 members of Security Council after agreement reached between the USA and Russia.
“The Syrian government gave details of its chemical weapons arsenal last month to the OPCW under the Russia-US agreement which also provided for Damascus to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. That arsenal is thought to include more than 1,000 tonnes of sarin and the blister agent sulphur mustard among other banned chemicals”, reports BBC.
Video:courtesy of AP YouTube Account.
After a month of diplomacy, 15 members of the U.N. Security Council voted late Friday on a resolution that will foster and ask of Syria to destroy its chemical weapons.
“Today’s historic resolution is the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time. For many month I have said that the confirm use of chemical weapons would require a firm, united response, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
According to the U.N. News Center,”through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2118 (2013), the Council called for the speedy implementation of procedures drawn up by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) “for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons programme and stringent verification thereof.”
The U.N. resolution on Syria, agreed among 15 members underlines, not party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons.”
Agreement on the resolution came after the agreement reached earlier between the USA and Russian foreign ministers, State Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The following is the timetable for the steps agreed in Geneva by the USA and Russia.
A. Completion of initial OPCW on-site inspections by November.
B. Destruction of production and mixing/filling equipment by November.
C. Complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of 2014
The decision address timetable for as soon as possible destruction of Syrian chemical weapons facilities for development and production of these weapons, aside the process of elimination of actual amount of those weapons.
The aims and targets for destruction in Syria, agreed by the USA and Russia in the past three days.
- Production equipment
2. Mixing and filling equipment
3. Filled and unfilled weapons and delivery systems
4. Chemical agents (unweaponized) and precursor chemicals. For these materials, they will pursue a hybrid approach, i.e., a combination of removal from Syria and destruction within Syria, depending upon site-specific conditions. They will also consider the possibility of consolidation and destruction in the coastal area of Syria.
5. Material and equipment related to the research and development of chemical weapon
While the process of dismantling the chemical weapon in Syria follows the scheduled road map defined with the U.S. – Russia agreement, United Nations says Thursday, Oct.31, 2013 that “Syrian government is willing to attend an international conference to find a solution to the conflict in the country”.
In Syria’s one and a half year conflict between Bashar Al-Assad Government forces and rebel groups more than 120.000 citizens of Syria lost their lives.