Report: US, Russia find Syrian chemical arms can be destroyed in 9 months

Majority of Syria's toxins are "unweaponized liquid precursors" that can be neutralized in relatively short amount of time, officials say.

September 27, 2013 09:18
1 minute read.
A Syrian activist wearing a gas mask where chemical weapons were allegedly used near Damascus.

Syiran gas mask 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh )

Syria's chemical weapons stockpile can be destroyed in nine months time, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing a confidential assessment by US and Russian officials.

According to the report, the majority of Syria's toxins are "unweaponized liquid precursors" that can be neutralized in a relatively short amount of time.

Such a move would lower the risk of the Assad regime's ability to stow away chemicals agents and of terrorist groups gaining possession of such materials.

Russia and the US compared data on Syria's chemical arsenal in meetings in Geneva this month, the Post reported.

Destroying the separate liquid components of sarin gas is easier than neutralizing composed sarin or warheads loaded with the substance, the Post quoted experts as saying.

“If the vast majority of it consists of precursors in bulk form, that is very good news...Now you’re dealing with tanks of chemicals that are corrosive and dangerous, but not nerve agents. And the destruction processes for those chemicals are well in hand," the paper quoted an expert as saying.

The US and Russia on Thursday agreed on a UN Security Council draft resolution to rid Syria of it chemical weapons. The deal requiring Syria to yield its chemical arsenal does not reportedly include threats of military action for Damascus' failure to comply.

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