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September 29, 2013 10:25 pm

UN Inspectors: End Syrian WMD Manufacturing Capacity by November 1

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A victim of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Photo: Screenshot. United Nations inspectors who will oversee the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons say that their first priority will be ending Syria’s capacity to manufacture weapons by Nov. 1.

On Sept. 27, the U.N. Security Council ordered the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to destroy Syria’s arsenal by mid-2014 by any means possible, including smashing equipment with sledgehammers, blowing up missiles, running tanks over or filling them with concrete, and making engines inoperable by running them without lubricant.

The plan to destroy the chemical weapons “is definitely a historical first,” OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan said, the Associated Press reported. But other experts are skeptical that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile can be destroyed by mid-2014. Adding to the complications, the Syrian government is responsible for giving U.N. inspectors access to the chemical sites, some of which may be near rebel-held areas.

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