Chemical Weapons Watchdog Says It Will Move Fast in Syria

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The head of the chemical weapons watchdog says the organization will move swiftly to help eliminate Syria's chemical weapon stockpile.

Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmet Uzumcu made the pledge Monday after U.N. inspectors reported finding "clear and convincing evidence" chemical weapons were used in an attack last month in Syria that killed hundreds of people.

Syria agreed to join the Hague-based organization last week in a deal brokered by the United States and Russia.

Uzumcu says the Chemical Weapons Convention goes into force in Syria on Oct. 14, and Damascus will quickly provide the OPCW with "a complete inventory of its chemical weapons" and production facilities.

The organization will inspect production and storage sites and help secure them ahead of the weapons' destruction.

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. inspectors say there is "clear and convincing evidence" that chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale in an attack last month in Syria that killed hundreds of people.

A report from the inspectors says "the environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used ... in the Ghouta area of Damascus" on Aug. 21.

"The conclusion is that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic ... against civilians including children on a relatively large scale," the inspectors said on the first page of their report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Ban is scheduled to present the report to the U.N. Security Council on Monday. The Associated Press saw the first page of the report.


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