Syria Chemical-Equipment Destruction Proceeds Amid Peace-Talks Friction

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 22, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

In­ter­na­tion­al dis­arm­a­ment crews pressed ahead with ef­forts to des­troy chem­ic­al-war­fare ma­ter­i­als held by Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s gov­ern­ment early this week, as dip­lo­mats from nearly a dozen coun­tries met to dis­cuss po­ten­tial talks on end­ing Syr­ia’s civil war.

The Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons on Monday said it over­saw the de­struc­tion of “crit­ic­al equip­ment” at 14 fa­cil­it­ies in Syr­ia, eight more since an up­date from last Wed­nes­day. Staffers as of Monday had audited a total of 17 Syr­i­an sites, ac­cord­ing to an OP­CW state­ment.

As­sad ad­mit­ted his forces pos­sess chem­ic­al weapons and agreed to their de­struc­tion in Septem­ber, after a nerve-gas at­tack weeks earli­er raised the pos­sib­il­ity of U.S. mil­it­ary in­ter­ven­tion in the na­tion’s civil war.

The work of the dis­arm­a­ment per­son­nel is be­ing mon­itored closely around the world. The in­ter­na­tion­al team has faced con­stant threats of vi­ol­ence, and last week can­celed a vis­it to one chem­ic­al-arms site over se­cur­ity wor­ries. In re­sponse, the United States on Monday said it sent the dis­arm­a­ment work­ers 10 ar­mored vehicles val­ued at $1.5 mil­lion for their pro­tec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a U.S. State De­part­ment state­ment.

Mean­while, Sigrid Kaag, the chem­ic­al-dis­arm­a­ment ef­fort’s new spe­cial co­ordin­at­or, traveled to Dam­as­cus on Monday, ac­cord­ing to OP­CW. Oth­er chem­ic­al-watch­dog of­fi­cials already in the Syr­i­an cap­it­al were con­sult­ing with the rul­ing re­gime as it pre­pared an “ini­tial form­al de­clar­a­tion” of its chem­ic­al-war­fare in­vent­ory. A mul­ti­lat­er­al de­cision from last month calls for As­sad’s gov­ern­ment to sub­mit the doc­u­ment by Sunday.

In Lon­don on Tues­day, U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and of­fi­cials from 10 oth­er coun­tries met to dis­cuss pos­sible Syr­i­an peace talks. After their meet­ing at the Lan­caster House, the United King­dom’s top dip­lo­mat pressed Syr­ia’s West­ern-backed res­ist­ance to “com­mit it­self fully” to a pro­posed meet­ing aimed at end­ing the con­flict.

The peace talks — tent­at­ively slated for in Novem­ber in Geneva — are the “best hope” for Syr­ia’s people “to im­prove their lives,” Brit­ish For­eign Sec­ret­ary Wil­li­am Hag­ue told the BBC.

Ahmad Jar­ba, head of the anti-As­sad Syr­i­an Na­tion­al Co­ali­tion, ap­peared set at Tues­day’s meet­ing to rule out par­ti­cip­at­ing in any peace meet­ing that does not seek As­sad’s elim­in­a­tion from of­fice, Re­u­ters re­por­ted. A fi­nal de­cision is not ex­pec­ted un­til early next month, the BBC re­por­ted.

Speak­ing on Monday, As­sad said “the factors are not yet in place if we want [the ini­ti­at­ive called Geneva 2] to suc­ceed,” Agence France-Presse re­por­ted.

“Per­son­ally, I don’t see any reas­on why I shouldn’t run in the next elec­tion,” he ad­ded in an in­ter­view with al-Mayadeen tele­vi­sion.

What We're Following See More »
PENCE BREAKS THE TIE
Senate Will Debate House Bill
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

By the narrowest of margins, the Senate voted 51-50 this afternoon to begin debate on the House's legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins defected from the GOP, but Vice President Pence broke a tie. Sen. John McCain returned from brain surgery to cast his vote.

Source:
WON’T SAY IF HE’LL FIRE HIM
Trump “Disappointed” in Sessions
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

“'It’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement,'” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. 'I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.'”

Source:
MURKOWSKI, COLLINS VOTE NAY
Republicans Reach 50 Votes to Proceed on Health Bill
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
INTERVIEWED KUSHNER FOR OVER THREE HOURS
House Russia Probe: Kushner “Satisfied” Questions
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Republicans who interviewed Jared Kushner for more than three hours in the House’s Russia probe on Tuesday said the president’s son-in-law and adviser came across as candid and cooperative. 'His answers were forthcoming and complete. He satisfied all my questions,' said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who’s leading the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign."

Source:
VICTORY FOR GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATES
Appeals Court Block D.C. Gun Control Law
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday blocked a gun regulation in Washington, D.C., that limited the right to carry a handgun in public to those with a special need for self-defense, handing a victory to gun rights advocates. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's 2-1 ruling struck down the local government's third major attempt in 40 years to limit handgun rights, citing what it said was scant but clear guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court on the right to bear arms."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login