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Syria destroys chemical weapons facilities says watchdog

Syria destroys chemical weapons facilities says watchdog
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Syria has destroyed or disabled all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities according to the international watchdog.

Damascus had until Friday to do so, having agreed to eliminate its entire chemical stockpile in a Russian-US brokered deal. Washington had earlier threatened to use force after hundreds were killed in a sarin attack in August.

Teams from the Nobel Peace prize winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have been inspecting sites across Syria.

“Syria has already given our executive control what is called a general plan of destruction to eliminate that whole stockpile,” said OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan. “And by the 15th of November, in two weeks, our executive council will have to approve a plan to ensure that the entire weapons programme and all of the related materials are destroyed irreversibly, by 30th June 2014.”

UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been in Damascus, talking to opposition leaders and others to try to shore up support for faltering peace talks to end Syria’s civil war in which more than 100,000 people have been killed.

On Wednesday he met President Bashar al-Assad who told him that negotiations to stop the conflict would only succeed if foreign powers ended support for rebels fighting to overthrow him.