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September 23, 2013

Syrian Chemical Weapons Check

The Syrian government began its (ahem) cooperation with the UN over its chemical weapons stockpiles.

The Syrian government began its (ahem) cooperation with the UN over its chemical weapons stockpiles, submitting the first report listing its stores. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which monitors compliance with the international ban on such weapons, “received an initial statement from Syria” Friday. According to The Washington Post, “The United States estimates that Syria has more than 1,000 metric tons of chemical toxins and blames the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the Aug. 21 attack, which U.S. officials say killed more than 1,400 people, including more than 400 children, in rebel-held or contested areas near the capital.”

Russia, on the other hand, still blames the rebels for perpetrating the attack to frame Assad. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin says he “can’t say 100%” whether Syria will truly comply with the deal to turn over its chemical weapons. File that one under “keen sense of the obvious.” Indeed, the Syrian regime has been busy moving its chemical weapons around for the last year – ever since Barack Obama drew his “red line.” One Obama administration official said, “What is unclear is whether they are moving them to consolidate the stockpile and then declare it, or are they moving it around to conceal it.” Answering that would seem to be rather important.

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