Hadi al Bahra
Member of Syrian Coalition Political Committee
March 15, 2014
In its Thirty-Fourth Meeting, on November 5th and 15th, 2013, the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) clearly said: “for facilities specified in paragraphs 4 and 5, destruction not later than 15 March 2014.”
The Assad regime has missed a series of deadlines including a recent February 5 deadline to move all chemicals abroad for destruction, and a deadline to ship the most lethal of chemical components out of Syria by the end of last year. Today, the regime misses again another deadline set by the OPCW’s Executive Council to destroy all of its chemical weapons production sites.
Again and again, the Assad regime proves unwilling to meet its international obligations. It has become clear as day that by dragging his feet over the elimination process, Assad is intent on using a sensitive matter like chemical weapons as a bargaining chip. It is vital the international community make it clear to the regime that such duplicitous behavior will not be tolerated.
This latest breach also constitutes a blow to US-Russia diplomatic efforts and poses a grave threat to future chances of finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria.