In a move late Friday afternoon, it was announced that Syria has submitted a new 100-day plan to the removal of its chemical weapons after failing to meet the first deadline set of Feb. 5. A note of expedience was raised by the overseeing international operation. It could be completed in a shorter time period, according to the report from Reuters.
Amidst frustration and growing concern from the U.S. and other countries, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons executive committee met with the U.N. in The Hague late Friday to discuss this latest time request from Syria. It has been a war of three years in March and has worn down patience of many leaders and humanitarian groups.
The war began in March 2011 after one year of peaceful protest by rebels erupted and military action took place seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad's from power.
The new request was immediately left with disapproval. ‘The Syrian 100 day plan for removal of the chemicals, on which we have been briefed, is not adequate,’ states Philip Hall, head of the British Foreign Office Counter Proliferation Department, in his response to the OPCW, according to a copy of his statement provided for press release.
‘We now urge the Syrian authorities to accept the proposals submitted by the Operational Planning Group that provide for removal in a much shorter time frame, without compromising on security,’ he said.
It was last August 31 when President Barack Obama laid out a case for a targeted military action against the Syrian regime targets as a result of their use of chemical weapons including an early count of hundreds of people including children.
After Obama presented a military attack but no U.S. boots on the ground, Assad agreed to destroy his chemical weapons following the global outrage as well over the sarin gas attack.
Assad has been dragging on the removal of the chemical weapons. There is a final deadline of June 30 under the OPCW plan for all of Syria's declared chemical materials to be destroyed.
The United States has sent the MV Cape Ray; a ship outfitted with special equipment to neutralize the worst of Syria's chemicals at sea. However, it will need 90 days to complete the destruction.
‘The international community has put into place everything that is necessary for transport and destruction of these chemicals. Sufficient equipment and material has been provided to Syria. The ships to carry the chemicals away from Syria are waiting,’ said Robert Mikulak, U.S. ambassador to the OPCW.
‘The U.S. ship to destroy CW agent and precursors is now in the region and waiting. Commercial facilities to destroy other chemicals have been selected and contracts awarded; they are waiting. And yet Syria continues to drag its feet,’ he added.
The original plan of Syrian disarmament of chemical weapons was drawn up by the US and Russia last September at a U.N. meeting.
U.N. disarmament Chief Angela Kane has stated today that any new plan would need to be endorsed by the OPCW and the U.N. Security Council.
Syria has said that poor weather conditions has delayed the efforts to remove the weapons and has posed security risks.
The death toll count by the U.N. is more than 100,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict since March 2011.
Please view Author’s suggestions below and the video atop this article of armed forces from various countries on ships training to remove chemical weapons from Syria.