Syria begins releasing details on its chemical weapons

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 9:49pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 2:46am

Syria has begun supplying details of its chemical arsenal, the world's chemical weapons watchdog said yesterday.

A senior official also said Damascus wanted a ceasefire in the 30-month war, which has reportedly killed more than 110,000 people and forced more than two million to flee.

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has offered to broker talks between the Syrian opposition and the Islamic republic's key ally in Damascus.

Hours before a deadline for President Bashar al-Assad's regime to provide details on its arsenal, the Hague-based group tasked with dismantling it said it had received an initial report.

"The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has received an initial disclosure from the Syrian government of its chemical weapons programme," it said in a statement. Its Technical Secretariat was examining it.

The organisation has postponed a meeting of its executive council set for tomorrow that had been due to discuss how to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons programme.

The US-Russian plan, which helped prevent military action on regime targets following a chemical attack last month that killed hundreds of people, stipulates that Assad's regime hand over its chemical weapons and facilities.

Meanwhile, Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said the war was now in stalemate and Damascus would call for a ceasefire if long-delayed peace talks in Geneva take place.

"Neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side," Jamil told Britain's Guardian newspaper.