Syria's chemical weapons: why it could take decades to destroy them (+video)
If Russia's plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons goes through, it would be the beginning of a complicated and expensive process.
How would the world destroy Syria’s chemical weapons? There isn’t an easy answer to that question. Syria has an estimated 1,000 tons or more of mustard and nerve gas stored at various locations around the war-torn country. Identifying and securing these stocks amidst ferocious fighting could be a horrendously difficult task.
Furthermore, getting rid of poison gas is far from a matter of rolling drums into a pit and lighting a match.
As experts note, if the Russia-proposed deal for Syrian chemical destruction actually goes through, the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad would sign the Chemical Weapons Convention. It’s likely the UN Security Council would then pass a resolution establishing a special commission of personnel largely from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to oversee the actual work.
The CWC does not allow chemical stocks to be burned in open pits, buried, or dumped at sea, according to the OPCW’s website.