Official: Syria destroys chemical arms equipment

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Associated Press

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 3:03 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An official at the global chemical weapons watchdog says Syria has completed destruction of critical equipment for producing chemical weapons and filling munitions with poison gas.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has not yet made the announcement public.

The announcement comes one day ahead of the Nov. 1 deadline set by the Hague-based organization for Damascus to destroy or "render inoperable" all chemical weapon production facilities and machinery for mixing chemicals into poison gas and filling munitions.

Destruction of the equipment means that Syria can no longer produce new chemical weapons. However Damascus still has to start destroying existing weapons and stockpiles.

The country is believed to have around 1,000 metric tons of chemicals and weapons including mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin.

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