DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources expose as unfounded the positive slant given by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on its experts’ progress toward dismantling Syria’s chemical arsenal and its praise for the “businesslike and efficient” cooperation of the Damascus regime.
This optimism conceals the following facts:
1) Syria submitted lists of 19 chemical sites, leaving out the rest of its 45 known locations.
2) The OPCW team which landed Syria Tuesday, Oct. 1, represents only negotiators charged with preparing a dismantlement plan which the Syrian government will be asked to approve before it goes forward.
3) The disarmament experts cannot operate without being secured by military personnel and equipped with armored vehicles for reaching their destinations. Neither military personnel nor armored vehicles are yet available in Syria. Moscow has offered both, but Washington has yet to agree to their deployment.
4) Seven chemical sites are situated in areas occupied by rebel forces, whose leaders have never agreed to grant international chemical experts access.
The partners in the chemical weapons deal – the US and Russia – continue to turn a blind eye to the human suffering caused by chemical warfare in Syria. Thousands of victims, many of them children, remain in hospital without proper treatment. Some have developed cancerous cells for lack of preventive care.