‘No obstacles to Chem arms handover plan’
Damascus, 26 September
Syria is committed to a deal to hand over its chemical weapons, President Bashar al-Assad has said in an interview, as major powers inched closer to a UN resolution enshrining the agreement.
The Syrian president, in an interview with Venezuelan television station Telesur broadcast yesterday, said he saw “no obstacles” to a plan under which Damascus will relinquish its chemical arms.
His comments came as UN experts arrived in Damascus to resume investigating around 14 incidents in which chemical weapons are alleged to have been used. On the ground, an Iraqi woman was killed when a mortar round hit the Iraqi consulate in Damascus, a diplomat told AFP.
Mr Assad told Telesur his government was committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which it signed as part of the US-Russian agreement on the destruction of its chemical arsenal.
“Syria is generally committed to all the agreements that it signs,” he said in the interview, published in full by the state news agency SANA today.
He said Damascus had begun to send the required details of its chemical arsenal to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which is overseeing the deal, and that OPCW inspectors were expected in Syria.
“Experts (from the OPCW) will come to Syria in the coming period to look into the status of these weapons,” he said.
“As the Syrian government, there are no serious obstacles.
“But there is always the possibility that the terrorists will obstruct the work of the experts by preventing them from accessing certain places.”
Mr Assad&’s Syrian regime labels those fighting against it “terrorists”.
Syria agreed to turn over its chemical arsenal under a deal thrashed out following an 21 August sarin attack in the suburbs of Damascus, which killed hundreds of people.
Mortar shell hits Iraq embassy: A mortar shell has slammed into the raqi embassy in central Damascus in an attack that Iraqi state TV says killed one person and wounded five, reports Associated Press.
The Iraqiya TV says three Iraqi women were among those wounded in today&’s attack.