Syria Chemical Inspection May Start Tuesday
by VOA News September 27, 2013
International experts will begin inspecting Syria's chemical arsenal by Tuesday under a plan set to be approved by the world's top chemical weapons monitoring group.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will vote late Friday on the draft resolution, which calls for inspections within 30 days at all chemical weapons sites declared by Syria's government.
The draft also requires Syria to provide OPCW inspectors access to 'any other site identified by a State Party as having been involved' in Syria's chemical weapons program.
If approved, the demands will become part of a U.N. Security Council draft resolution that will formalize a plan requiring President Bashar al-Assad to give up his chemical weapons by mid-2014.
In violence Friday, activists said a car bomb killed at least 30 people and wounded dozens in the town of Rankus, just north of Damascus.
Rankus is a Sunni town in a region mostly under control of rebels trying to overthrow Assad's government.
The United States and Russia agreed Thursday on the language of the Security Council draft resolution, following weeks of negotiations about how to ensure Assad complies with the disarmament plan.
U.S. officials praised the text as legally binding and enforceable, though it does not include an automatic trigger for enforcement if Syria does not comply, as the White House had wanted.
President Assad agreed earlier this month to give up his chemical weapons, following threats of U.S. military strikes in response to a poison gas attack on a rebel-held area last month that killed hundreds.
Assad denies carrying out the attack. He and his Russian allies say rebels trying to overthrow his government were behind the incident.
The conflict in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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