Plan for Syria’s chemical weapons to be initiated within days
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Plan for Syria’s chemical weapons to be initiated within days

Hague-based watchdog says its experts are anticipating the challenges in verifying Assad’s declared stockpiles

A young man receives medical treatment after what Syrian rebels claim was a chemical weapons attack in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus on September 12, 2013 screen capture: YouTube)
A young man receives medical treatment after what Syrian rebels claim was a chemical weapons attack in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus on September 12, 2013 screen capture: YouTube)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The head of the chemical weapons watchdog said the organization will move swiftly to help eliminate Syria’s chemical weapon stockpile.

Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmet Uzumcu made the pledge Monday after UN inspectors reported finding “clear and convincing evidence” chemical weapons were used in an attack last month in Syria that killed hundreds of people.

“It is envisaged… That the program to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria will be initiated in a matter of days,” the Hague-based OPCW said in a statement.

The watchdog said its experts “are already at work preparing a roadmap that anticipates the various challenges involved in verifying Syria’s declared stockpiles.”

Syria agreed to join the organization last week in a deal brokered by the United States and Russia.

Uzumcu said Monday that the Chemical Weapons Convention goes into force in Syria on October 14, and Damascus will quickly provide the OPCW with “a complete inventory of its chemical weapons” and production facilities.

The organization will inspect production and storage sites and help secure them ahead of the weapons’ destruction.

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