Syria Destroys Chemical Weapons Equipment

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Syria says it has completed the destruction of the equipment used to produce chemical weapons, according to the Brussels-based chemical weapons watchdog charged with holding the government accountable.

In a statement released Thursday, they confirmed that "the government of the Syrian Arab Republic has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plans, rendering them inoperable."

The team reportedly visited 21 of 23 sites. The Syrian government claimed the equipment at the two remaining sites, which they said are not under Syria's full control, had been moved elsewhere and the facilities abandoned. Inspectors could not verify that claim.

Now comes the bigger task: destroying Syria's huge stockpile of nonconventional weapons before mid-2014.

Syria is believed to have around 1,000 metric tons of chemicals and chemical weapons, including mustard gas and the nerve agent Sarin.

In September, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution requiring Syria to give up its chemical weapons arsenal.

The resolution was in response to the Damascus poison gas attack in August that killed hundreds of people.

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