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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Syria's chem arms program
said to have been destroyed

From a UN press release
The Syrian government has met a major UN benchmark with the destruction of its chemical weapons program, a watchdog agency said today.

Syria has met the deadline of Nov. 1 set by the UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to complete the scrapping of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and its mixing and filling plants

The UN agency's executive council is scheduled to review on Nov. 15 Syria's plan for destruction of its stockpile of chemical weapons.

The watchdog agency has inspected 21 of the 23 sites declared by Syria, and 39 of the 41 facilities located at those sites. The two remaining sites were not visited due to safety and security concerns in the war-torn area. But Syria declared that those sites had been abandoned, saying that WMD program components were withdrawn to areas under the government's control, where they were inspected.

The watchdog group is "satisfied that it has verified -- and seen destroyed" all chemical arms program components and facilities, according to a statement issued on behalf of Director General Ahmet Üzümcü.

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