BEIRUT (AP) — The international chemical weapons watchdog agency confirms that Syria has destroyed critical equipment for producing chemical weapons and poison gas munitions.
The announcement came one day ahead of the deadline set by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons. Syria had until tomorrow to destroy or to make "inoperable" all of its chemical weapons production facilities and the machinery for mixing chemicals into poison gas and filling weapons with it.
It's a significant milestone in a timeline that aims to destroy all of Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of next year. Destruction of the equipment would mean that Syria can no longer produce new chemical weapons.
But Damascus still has to start destroying existing weapons and stockpiles. It's believed to have around 1,000 metric tons of chemicals and weapons including mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin (SA'-rihn).
141-a-12-(Michael Luhan (LOO'-han), spokesman, OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), at news conference)-"those into munitions"-OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan says the destruction of key equipment means that Syria can't manufacture chemical weapons any more. Updated: 10/31/2013-10:42:29 AM ET (31 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *141 (10/31/13)££ 00:12 "those into munitions"
140-a-13-(Michael Luhan (LOO'-han), spokesman, OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), at news conference)-"for sarin gas"-OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan says Syria has finished disabling its technology for producing chemical weapons and filling munitions with poison gas. Updated: 10/31/2013-10:42:29 AM ET (31 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *140 (10/31/13)££ 00:13 "for sarin gas"
APPHOTO NY114: FILE - In this photo released Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, samples brought back by the U.N. chemical weapons inspection team are checked in upon their arrival at The Hague, Netherlands. An official at the global chemical weapons watchdog says Syria has completed destruction of critical equipment for producing chemical weapons and filling munitions with poison gas. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday, Oct. 31, because the OPCW had not yet made the announcement public. (AP Photo/OPCW, Henry Arvidsson, File) (31 Aug 2013)
<<APPHOTO NY114 (08/31/13)££
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