Syria Declares Chemical Weapons To Watchdog In ‘Initial Disclosure’

Syria sent an “initial declaration” of its chemical weapons stores to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, according to the organization.

The declaration is in keeping with the agreement brokered by Russia and the United States, which will end with Syria giving up its chemical weapons.

Details of the report will not be released, reports ABC News. However, the organization’s spokesman, Michael Luhan, stated that the declaration is “being reviewed by our verification division.”

Russia and the United States came to an agreement last week to allow Syria to give up its chemical weapons. In exchange, the United States will not launch a military attack against the Middle Eastern nation for an August 21 chemical weapons attack.

The US and other countries believe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack. However, Russia and Assad have denied the allegations on several occasions.

While Syria has disclosed its chemical weapons stores, The Los Angeles Times notes that it isn’t clear if the disclosure met the demands of last week’s agreement. However, an official with the organization suggested in a statement that the document wasn’t complete.

The official told Reuters, “We have received part of the verification, and we expect more.” The Obama administration was cautious about praising Syria’s chemical weapons disclosure. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf explained, “We’re going to take a look at the document and see what it says. So I’m not going to say one way or another whether they’ve met their obligations.”

The disclosure from Syria comes just days before world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The UN Security Council has discussed the crisis in Syria, but has not yet agreed to a resolution. While The US, Britain, and France want a resolution that puts pressure on Syria, Russia is against any mention of military action should its ally fail to surrender chemical weapons.

[Image by US Government via Wikimedia Commons]