Syria 'submits chemical weapons data' to Hague watchdog

20.09.2013 16:18

Syria has begun sending details of its
chemical weapons as part of a US-
Russia brokered deal to make them
safe, the chemical arms watchdog
has said.
The Hague-based OPCW added that it
expected more details from Syria in the
coming days and had postponed a
meeting planned for Sunday.
Syria was given a Saturday deadline to
give a full list of its chemical arms.
The US had threatened military action
over a chemical attack in Damascus last
month, which the UN called a war crime.
The US, UK and France have accused
Syrian government forces of carrying out
the attack in the Ghouta district, but
President Bashar al-Assad has blamed
rebel groups.
Meeting postponed
Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the
Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is
responsible for policing the treaty
outlawing chemical arms, said Syria's
submission was an "initial declaration".
Mr Luhan said it was now being
examined by the organisation's technical
secretariat but he declined to say what
was in it.
A UN diplomat confirmed to Reuters that
details had been submitted, adding: "It's
quite long... and being translated."
The US-Russia-brokered deal aims to
have inspectors on the ground in Syria in
November, when they will make an initial
assessment and oversee the destruction
of certain equipment.
The destruction of all of Syria's chemical
weapons would then be completed by
The core members of the OPCW were
expected to vote on the timetable next
However, the OPCW said in a statement
on Friday that a meeting of its executive
council scheduled for Sunday had been
postponed, without giving a reason.
"We will announce the new date and
time... as soon as possible," it said.