Deadline Passed


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Wednesday the 5th February was supposed to be the date by which Syria finally got rid of all their chemical weapons, yet reports released this week suggest that just over a tenth of the actual amount has gone.

11 per cent was the official figure given by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in regard to the quantity of weapons which have so far been removed from the war-ravished country.

After missing the first deadline in December, the February date seemed to simply pass by with the next June date looking ever more unrealistic.

EXCAVATE: Chemical weapons are being taken out of Syria at too slow of a rate, with another deadline passing last week

EXCAVATE: Chemical weapons are being taken out of Syria at too slow of a rate, with another deadline passing last week

With so many country’s now involved with Syria, the point of blame has often been passed around. Amy Smithson, a chemical weapons expert at the US Monterey Institute, told Reuters she believed that the unrest in the country could be settled sooner if other countries worked together.

She said: “The odds of Syrian compliance increase if Washington and Moscow speak with one voice, but that isn't happening at present.

“These two countries are both key to the potential success of chemical disarmament in Syria, not to mention a settlement to the overall conflict, so hopefully they will rapidly find a way to resolve this impasse.”

The international community has invested facilities and money into the program yet for many experts not enough is being done by Syrian officials to hurry up the procedure.

US Ambassador to the OPCW, Robert Mikulak, demanded immediate action be taken to get the weapons out of the country and believes that the resources are there to get the program moving.

“Syria has said that its delay in transporting these chemicals has been caused by 'security concerns' and insisted on additional equipment - armored jackets for shipping containers, electronic countermeasures, and detectors for improvised explosive devices,” he said.

“These demands are without merit, and display a ‘bargaining mentality’ rather than a ‘security mentality’.”

Georgy Mirsky, a Middle East expert at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations in Moscow, struggled to defend Russia’s position in the affair, as the country is the biggest supporter of the current regime.

He said: “If it appears now that it was all in vain - that chemical weapons will remain in Syria and that Bashar al-Assad is pulling a fast one - it will be President Putin who will be in a very bad situation indeed.”

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