Syrian Chemical Weapons Equipment Destroyed Says Syria

The Syrian regime has declared its ability to make chemical weapons destroyed.

The Syrian regime has declared its ability to make chemical weapons destroyed.

BBC (“Syria chemical equipment ‘destroyed’“):

Syria’s declared equipment for producing, mixing and filling chemical weapons has been entirely destroyed, the international watchdog has said.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had given Syria until 1 November to make such a declaration.

Weapons inspectors were sent to Syria following allegations that government forces had used chemical weapons in civilian areas.

The government denies the accusations.

This is a breaking story, so details are scant. But OPCW isn’t declaring that it has scoured every inch of Syria and determined that the equipment has been destroyed; it’s merely passing on word that the government has met the deadline for declaring.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Quick Takes, United Nations, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. James Pearce says:

    I’m no war-monger, but I’m still wondering how this result would have occurred without threatening military action and later embracing diplomatic pressure.

    Hate to say it, but even in hindsight, this:

    1) Threaten airstrikes
    2) Send in the diplomats
    3) Syria destroys it’s chemical weapons

    was a better plan than this:

    1) Do nothing
    2) ???????
    3) Syria destroys it’s chemical weapons

  2. James Joyner says:

    @James Pearce: You’re assuming there was a plan. I see no evidence of that.

    But, yes, to the extent that Syria actually gets rid of its chemical weapons without us having to do more than threaten military action, it’s a good outcome. Plan or no, the administration gets some credit at least for flexibility in taking advantage of the situation.

  3. James Pearce says:

    @James Joyner:

    You’re assuming there was a plan.

    Oh, I’m not saying that this was the plan all along, or that “the plan” was anything other than “Get rid of Syrian CW somehow.”

    I’m just pointing out that if we followed the advice of the “do nothing” crowd, we would not have this result.

  4. Gavrilo says:

    Actually, the Obama plan was more like this:

    1. Declare a “red line” regarding the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
    2. See the Assad regime cross your red line and use chemical weapons.
    3. Ignore that the Assad regime used chemical weapons.
    4. See the Assad regime use chemical weapons in a larger-scale attack.
    5. Get backed into a corner because of your ill-advised red line comment and because you can’t ignore this attack.
    6. Assemble a coalition of Great Britain and France for airstrikes against the Assad regime.
    7. Announce that you don’t need Congressional approval.
    8. See your coalition crumble when Great Britain balks.
    9. Request a congressional approval on your military strike in the hopes that Congress bails you out by rejecting your plan.
    10. Have your Secretary of State make an off-hand comment about Assad avoiding airstrikes by agreeing to destroy his chemical weapons.
    11. Have your Secretary of State immediately try to walk back his comment.
    12. Have Russia swoop in and broker a deal that you have to agree to even though getting rid of chemical weapons in Syria was not your stated objective. Your stated objective for striking the Assad regime was retaliation for its use of chemical weapons.
    13. Establish a de facto policy that tyrants get one free shot at using chemical weapons and as long as they agree to destroy those weapons there will be no further consequences.
    14. Have a corrupt, former KGB agent, who has actively supported the vicious regime that has used chemical weapons, come out looking like a better statesman than you.
    15. Hope the entire episode is memory-holed asap.

  5. James Pearce says:

    @Gavrilo: Most of that is accurate. You forgot the mention the hue and cry of all the doubters, though, but considering it would have doubled the list, I can understand why.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    An ex boss of mine taught me a valuable lesson years ago. If there isn’t a good plan available, keep pushing in the right direction and see what develops.

    @James Pearce: And anything beats the Republican plan:

    1. Bomb Syria, carefully avoiding chemical weapons facilities that might go boom.
    2. ???
    3. Syria becomes a liberal democracy and friend of the West.