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Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – On Wednesday, the American administration emphasized the importance of accelerating the process of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons, which has been delayed for months.
According to reports, the Syrian regime has handed over about 1,300 metric tonnes of toxic chemicals but has yet to destroy a series of underground bunkers and hangars used to produce and store its deadly stockpile.
Last year, Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, following a chemical attack by the pro-Assad army against civilians in Damascus countryside on August 21, which claimed lives of hundreds.
“It is disappointing that the destruction of the twelve chemical weapons production facilities originally declared by Syria is limping along and is now significantly behind schedule,” said Bob Mikulak, the U.S. representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
According to Mikulak, an intensive monitoring is needed to destroy the Syrian chemical arsenal.
The delay in destroying Syria’s chemical sites is partly caused by trouble in finding a commercial contractor to carry out the work, Reuters quoted diplomatic sources as saying.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ceziri