Syria discloses chemical weapons stockpile details: watchdog

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 21, 2013 7:57 AM

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Syria has disclosed the information on its chemical weapons program that was expected under an agreed Saturday deadline, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said.

The disclosure is a crucial stage in the process that should lead to the weapons' destruction. Syria is believed to possess about 1,000 metric tons of toxins, and has agreed to destroy them under a joint Russian-U.S. proposal designed to avert a U.S. military strike on Syria.

"The Technical Secretariat is currently reviewing the information received," a statement on the OPCW website said.

The chemical weapons watchdog's core members are due to vote - probably next week - on a plan aimed at fast-tracking the destruction of Syria's stockpiles of chemical arms by mid-2014.

The plan emerged after a U.S. threat to attack Syria and intense international diplomacy after a poison gas attack killed hundreds of civilians on the outskirts of Damascus last month.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Mike Collett-White)