Syria

Syria starts destruction of remaining chemical weapons sites

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Syria has started destroying what was remained of its chemical weapons production and storage facilities.

A spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Monday that Damascus has begun destruction of the sites although its efforts are allowed down by various logistical problems and bad weather.

Syria has already transferred most of its chemical weapons stockpile, but it is still behind schedule in destroying the bunkers and hangars that were used to produce and store chemical weapons.

Peter Sawczak said that the razing of the sites has already started in late December, but was stopped for a while due to winter storms. There has also been some technical problems which has hampered the destruction process.

According to the sources in the OPCW, Syria is expected to destroy one tunnel each month, and complete the overall process by June.

Syria has already disabled all chemical weapons sites in October 2013, but it needs to raze the structures that encompass the facilities as well. The government had until July to destroy all the facilities, but bad weather and problems in finding the contractors slowed down the job.

The United States and other western allies used the chemical attack on a suburb of Damascus in August 2013 as an opportunity to pressure president Bashar al-Assad to hand over its chemical weapons or face the threat of a military incursion.

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