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Syria files chemical weapon details

28 October 2013, 06:52

The Hague - Syria has filed details of its poison gas and nerve agent programme and an initial plan to destroy it to the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the organisation announced on Sunday.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement that Syria completed its declaration as part of a strict and ambitious timeline that aims to eliminate the lethal stockpile by mid-2014.

The group, based in The Hague, said Syria made the declaration on Thursday. The announcement provides "the basis on which plans are devised for a systematic, total and verified destruction of declared chemical weapons and production facilities", the group said.

Such declarations made to the organisation are confidential. No details of Syria's programme were released.

Syria already had given preliminary details to the OPCW when it said it was joining the organisation in September.

The move warded off possible US military strikes in the aftermath of an 21 August chemical weapon attack on a Damascus suburb. Syria denies responsibility for the deadly attack.

OPCW inspectors were hastily dispatched to Syria this month and have visited most of the 23 sites Damascus declared. They have also begun overseeing destruction work to ensure that machines used to mix chemicals and fill munitions with poisons are no longer functioning.

Syria is believed to possess around 1 000 metric tons of chemical weapons, including mustard gas and sarin.

It has not yet been decided how or where destruction of Syria's chemical weapons will happen. Syria's declaration includes a general plan for destruction that will be considered by the OPCW's 41-nation executive council on 15 November.

- AP


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