September 16, 2013

World chemical weapons watchdog pledges fast action on Syria

The Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 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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