Syria no longer has the capability to produce chemical weapons, at least as far as their disclosed facilities are concerned. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) tasked with the job of destroying Syria's chemical weapon stockpile has said that it has overseen the destruction of equipment used for producing, mixing and filling chemical weapons. This achievement comes a day before the Nov 1 deadline.
Head of field operations for OPCW, Jerry Smith, said his team had "personally observed" the destruction of the declared equipment.
"They are not now in a position to conduct any further production or mixing of chemical weapons," he said.
BBC's Jonathan Marcus termed the achievement of this crucial initial target "an important moment for the chemical weapons destruction effort in Syria."
International chemical weapons inspectors were sent to Syria under an United Nations mandated plan, after allegations that the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons on civilians. President Assad denied the allegation and blamed the rebels for having used the chemical weapons.
Reacting to the news, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told the BBC that Syria's government had no difficulty in meeting its obligation as was initially feared.
"I hope those who have always thought of us negatively will change their minds and understand that Syria was, is, and will be always a constructive partner," Mr Mekdad said.
The next deadline for Syria is to destroy the actual weapon stockpile by mid-2014.
According to BCC reports, Syria's arsenal includes more than 1,000 tonnes of the nerve gas sarin, the blister agent sulphur mustard and other banned chemicals, stored at dozens of sites.
"All stocks of chemical weapons and agents have been placed under seals that are impossible to break," OPCW spokesman Christian Chartier was quoted by AFP news agency saying.
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