Inspectors vow to first disable Syria's chemical weapons facilities
Inspectors who will oversee Syria's destruction of its chemical weapons said their first priority is to help the country scrap its ability to manufacture such arms by a Nov. 1 deadline — using every means possible.
This may include smashing mixing equipment with sledgehammers, blowing up delivery missiles, driving tanks over empty shells or filling them with concrete and running machines without lubricant so they seize up and become inoperable, the weapons inspectors said.
On Friday, the U.N. Security Council ordered the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to help Syria destroy its estimated 1,000-ton chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014. It also calls for consequences if Syria fails to comply, though the Security Council would have to pass another resolution to impose any penalties.
"This isn't just extraordinary for the OPCW," Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the organization, said. "This hasn't been done before: an international mission to go into a country which is involved in a state of conflict and amid that conflict oversee the destruction of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction which it possesses. This is definitely a historical first."Read more.