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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Syria destroys three chemical weapons sites

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:7AM

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says Syria has destroyed three chemical weapons production sites.

In a report to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday, the OPCW hailed Damascus's cooperation with the organization for the dismantling of the sites.

'The Syrian authorities have continued to extend the necessary cooperation,' the report said.

OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu also said that his team of experts was able to verify that three tunnels have been destroyed and that work on dismantling a fourth underground structure was underway.

'Currently, one underground structure and two hangars are not accessible owing to the security situation near these sites,' Uzumcu said.

Syria has already disabled all chemical weapons sites in October 2013, but it needs to raze the structures that encompass the facilities as well.

In February, The Hague-based body announced in a report that 98 percent of chemical weapons declared by Syria have so far been verified by the OPCW as destroyed.

Damascus says it has honored its obligations to the OPCW, which monitors the destruction of materials used in manufacturing chemical arms.

"Syria has accomplished all its commitments according to the agreement and resolutions of the OPCW Executive Council away from politicization being practiced by some member countries," said Basam al-Sabagh, Syria's permanent envoy to the organization, last Thursday.

Damascus has also welcomed the establishment of a fact-finding committee to launch a probe into the deadly chlorine gas attacks which killed hundreds of people in the conflict over the past few years.

On March 6, 14 members of the UNSC approved a resolution condemning the use of chlorine gas in the violence-ravaged country.

The resolution did not apportion blame on any side for the chemical attacks, but threatened to take action in case of any further violations.

Following the UNSC resolution, Bashar al-Ja'afari, the Syrian envoy to the UN lashed out at some Western countries for their attempts to blame the gas attacks on the Syrian government, saying Takfiri terrorists were behind such offensives.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 215,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year alone.


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