US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the Assad regime deserves credit for its compliance in the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. UN inspectors have began destroying the country's stockpile.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the Assad regime in Syria deserves credit for its compliance in the destruction of the country's chemical weapons.
Speaking following a summit with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry said: "I think it is extremely significant that yesterday, within a week of the resolution being passed, some chemical weapons were already being destroyed.
"I think it is also credit to the Assad regime for complying rapidly, as they are supposed to. We hope that will continue...It is a good beginning and we should welcome a good beginning."
The process of destroying Syria's chemical weapons began today as inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the UN sought to destroy the country's arsenal in compliance with international demands. A UN spokesperson said:
Under the supervision of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, supported by the United Nations, Syrian personnel used cutting torches and angle grinders to destroy or disable a range of items.
This included missile warheads, aerial bombs and mixing and filling equipment. The process will continue in the coming days.
A UN official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that the process of assessing, disarming and disabling was already underway.
Today is the first day of the phase of destruction and disabling. Verification will also continue.
The plan was that two types categories of materials would be destroyed: one is equipment for making (weapons) - filling and mixing equipment, some of it mobile, and some it static. The other is actual munitions.