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Amy Smithson, a chemical weapons expert at the US Monterey Institute, said the harder part of eliminating Syria's loot of chemical weapons lies in the next stage, which involves transporting and eliminating the warfare agents. Speaking to Reuters, Ms Smithson said:
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has released the following statement regarding the destruction of equipment "critical" to the production of new chemical weapons in Syria:
The first stage in destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles has been completed, according to an official from the international watchdog OPCW.
The announcement comes a day before the deadline set by the Hague-based organisation to destroy or "render inoperable" all equipment for making new chemical weapons.
Syria's weapons stockpiles - consisting of an estimated 1,000 metric tons of chemicals including mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin - must be destroyed by the middle of next year, under the plan submitted by government.
The global chemical weapons watchdog has said that all of Syria's declared chemical weapon production, mixing and filling equipment has been destroyed.
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The global chemical weapons watchdog said Assad has destroyed his chemical weapon equipment, but his existing arsenal remains.