By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
Experts have now arrived in Syria to remove its government’s chemical weapons, following the US-Russia deal to disarm Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The United Nations has also joined in, helping to coordinate efforts to peacefully destroy the dangerous technology.
The tragic August 21 chemical attack on the citizens of Syria’s capital, Damascus, was blamed on al-Assad’s forces by US-led allies, while Russia and the Syrian government said it was the rebels who did it.
Now, even though Syria has agreed to have its weapons safely disposed of, they claimed at the UN General Assembly meeting on Monday that there’s no civil war in their country.
“There is no civil war in Syria, but it is a war against terror that recognizes no values, nor justice, nor equality, and disregards any rights or laws,” said Syria’s Foreign Minister, Walid Moallem, adding, “Syria, by [agreeing] to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, proves its commitment against the use of such weapons, while at the same time calls on the international community to shoulder its responsibility against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.”
The team entering Syria is from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and this marks the first time it’s ever been asked to destroy a country’s chemical weapons during a war. The OPCW is located in The Hague, the seat of government in the Netherlands, and is the international group responsible for making sure countries follow the rules when it comes to never… ever using chemical weapons in war. No matter what.
Under the US-Russia deal, their work in Syria should be finished by November.
Images courtesy of OPCW Facebook.