Syrian Chemical Weapons: Soon to be Dismantled
On Monday, a team of 20 engineers, chemists and paramedics will make their way from the Netherlands to Syria to begin the most hazardous mission of disarmement in history, dismantling the one of the world’s largest chemical weapons arsenals.
Due to arrive on Tuesday, the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will have chemical protection suits, under using body armour and helmets, to begin their mission. The U.N. security council is started resolution after a unanimous vote on Friday, and enlisted the help of the OPCW to help Syria to destroy its chemical weapons.
Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s President, vowed to cooperate with the mission.
The first priority of the team will where the weapons are produced and distributed. All the capability equipment used for production must be destroyed by November 1. The remainder will have a deadline for all stockpiles by July 1, 2014 to be removed and dismantled. This is an extremely tight schedule for a process that usually takes years.
“This decision sends an unmistakable message that the international community is coming together to work for peace in Syria beginning with the elimination of chemical weapons in that country,” said OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu.
The question that remains is whether Syria has fully revealed it’s stockpile in their consolidation of materials, which it claimed was for keeping the weapons from the hands of the rebels. And whether the inspectors will be safe in dangerous territory, during the civil war, where control is questionable. Al-Assad has pledged to remove all chemical weapons.
Based on the compromise between the west and Russia discussed the Thursday, this was the result. Though, it does not include the repercussions or measures in the event Syria, or its government fails to comply.
In the event Syria fails to commit to the resolution, it is likely that it will revive the threat of military action by the United States and its allies.
Image via News Distribution Network, Inc.