Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has agreed to destroy chemical weapons and is given by mid-2014 to destroy the over 1,000 ton stockpile of weapons. As of October 7, the Syrian government has cooperated. The arsenal destruction is being overseen by the Organization for the Prohibition of chemical weapons. Assad claimed that it would take about a year to destroy all the chemical weapons.
The Pentagon has suggested a destruction unit for the chemical weapons that are able to destroy bulk chemicals or precursors, but not toxic munitions. The earliest talks regarding the destruction of weapons included the option of taking them abroad. The catch: it is illegal for most countries to import chemical weapons, so doing an on-site destruction seems inevitable. According to an unnamed source, several countries have been contacted to assist by providing technicians to help in the destruction unit.
Syria and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) must decide what technology will used to destroy the weapons by November 15. There will have to be ceasefire negotiations with opposition forces to allow safe entry to sites in Syrian territory in a conflict that has taken 100,000 lives.
International inspectors have visited three sites tied to Syria’s chemical weapons program and they are to visit more than 20 sites as part of the disarmament quest. The U.N. Secretary Council met late October 10, 2013 to discuss detailed suggestions made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on how to destroy the embattled country’s chemical weapons.