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Syria fails to meet deadline to turn over chemical weapons

 British Ambassador to the United Nations Lyall Grant (L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listen during a United Nations Security Council vote September 27, 2013 at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
British Ambassador to the United Nations Lyall Grant (L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listen during a United Nations Security Council vote September 27, 2013 at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Last September, Syria agreed to turn over the total of its chemical arsenal, however, so far they’ve only turned over 5 percent. According to The Guardian on Feb. 5, Syrian officials are stating the delay is due to a civil war that is currently raging in the country.

By this point, Syria is expected to have turned over 90 percent of chemical weapons they possess according to a timeline laid out by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The timeline stated that 700 tonnes of the most dangerous items—sarin, mustard and VX gas— should have left the country by Dec. 31 and another 500 should have left on Wednesday.

Neither organization would speak on the issue, saying the situation speaks for itself, though John Kerry said earlier in the week that there would be consequence should the terms of the deal not be honored.

Russia, which played a large part in securing the deal, didn’t make much of the delays and declared that Syria would move a “large quantity” out by the end of February.

The civil war in Syria is entering its fourth year, and according to the Guardian, shows no signs of stopping. The theme of chemical weapons has actually be a large part of the war. Russia plans to attend another session of meetings with Syrian officials to help reach a diplomatic end. However, fighting continues to rage in various parts of the country.

USA Today notes that a British publication believe Syria is hiding much of its stockpile from the UN to use as an “insurance policy” against regime opponents.

The agreement to turn over weapons was reached after Western powers threatened to attack after weapons were used in neighborhood where rebels were thought to be hiding out. In those attacks, hundreds of civilians died.