Insiders: Assad Will Not Demolish Chemical Installations by Deadline

Global Security Newswire Staff
March 7, 2014, 7:42 a.m.

In­ter­na­tion­al of­fi­cials said Syr­ia ap­pears poised to miss a March 15 tar­get date for elim­in­at­ing a dozen chem­ic­al-arms man­u­fac­tur­ing sites, Re­u­ters re­ports.

States parties to an in­ter­na­tion­al chem­ic­al-weapons ban called last year for Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s gov­ern­ment to fin­ish elim­in­at­ing the 12 sites by the middle of this month. That goal is now out of reach, ac­cord­ing to Thursday com­ments from sources at the Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons.

“That [dead­line] will def­in­itely be missed,” one in­sider told the wire ser­vice. “None of them have been des­troyed at the mo­ment.”

The source de­scribed sev­en of the fa­cil­it­ies as “hardened” air­plane stor­age sites, and five of the loc­a­tions as un­der­ground in­stall­a­tions. At a meet­ing of the 41-na­tion OP­CW Ex­ec­ut­ive Coun­cil this week, mul­tiple West­ern en­voys re­jec­ted a Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment pro­pos­al to close off the sites with ce­ment rather than fully de­mol­ish them, ac­cord­ing to agency in­siders.

“The phys­ic­al de­struc­tion of CW pro­duc­tion fa­cil­it­ies is a fun­da­ment­al re­quire­ment of the [Chem­ic­al Weapons] Con­ven­tion, and a prudent pro­tec­tion against the re­tain­ment or re­start of a chem­ic­al-weapons pro­gram,” U.S. Am­bas­sad­or Robert Miku­lak said to the body in pre­pared re­marks.

As­sad re­gime’s pledged to re­lin­quish its chem­ic­al-war­fare stock­pile and re­lated as­sets when it faced ac­cus­a­tions of re­leas­ing sar­in nerve agent over an op­pos­i­tion-held sub­urb of Dam­as­cus, al­legedly killing more than 1,400 people in Au­gust.

“Des­troyed means des­troyed,” a source told Re­u­ters. “Why should a coun­try that used chem­ic­al weapons against its own people be giv­en spe­cial priv­ileges?”

As­sad’s gov­ern­ment nev­er ac­cep­ted blame for the Aug. 21 strike, and Rus­sia has backed the deni­als by its part­ner in Dam­as­cus.

What We're Following See More »
11 HOUSE MEMBERS NOW BEHIND HIM
Two Committee Chairs Endorse Trump
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Two powerful House members—Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller (R-FL)—are throwing their support behind Donald Trump.

Source:
BUT WOULD HE THROW THE CHAIR?
Bobby Knight: Trump Would Drop the Bomb Just Like Truman
11 hours ago
THE LATEST
LAST PLACE
Trump Still Struggling for Endorsements
14 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
MORE INDEPENDENTS, FEWER SUPERDELEGATES
Sanders Could Force Changes to Nominating Process
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

There are not "ongoing, direct conversations between" the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp regarding "the platform or rules changes," but Sanders "is already making his opening arguments" about those issues on the stump. Sanders is putting "complaints about closed primaries" atop his stump speeches lately, and figures to start a "conversation about the role of superdelegates in the nominating process." He said, “Our goal, whether we win or we do not win, is to transform the Democratic Party."

Source:
‘LUCIFER IN THE FLESH’
Boehner Says He Wouldn’t Vote for Cruz
17 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Well, this is unsubtle. Former Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz "lucifer in the flesh," adding that he "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Boehner has endorsed John Kasich, but he said he'd vote for Donald Trump over Cruz. He also praised Bernie Sanders, calling him the most honest politician in the race, and predicted that Joe Biden may yet have a role to play in the Democratic contest, especially if Hillary Clinton runs into legal trouble over her emails.

Source:
×