The last-minute intervention by Russia in what seemed to be yet another conflict we found ourselves involved in, has resulted in progress being made in Syria. With the disposal of almost a thousand metric tons of chemical and nerve gas agents, UN inspectors have to be thorough when disposing of all of Syria’s chemical weapons.
Above is one of the 20+ chemical facilities in Syria, and so far UN inspectors have visited 11 and permanently disabled 6 of the sites.
The effort is a joint operation between the OPCW and UN to rid Syria of chemical and weapon stockpiles, a task which will not be easy. While the actual physical demolition of the chemicals and weapons is the responsibility of the Syrian government, OPCW inspectors monitor and verify what equipment is destroyed. OPCW hopes to have as many as 100 inspectors on the ground, a jump from the 20 inspectors that have already been surveying sites in Syria.
While there is relief that a conflict was avoided, Syrian’s are angry that President Bashar Assad is getting away with essentially murder. With the war costing more than 100,000 Syrian lives, and the chemical attacks killing 1400 in one day; the Syrian people want a change. A video released today asserted that with a spokesperson speaking on the behalf of 65 different groups of fighters saying that, “they feel abandoned by the political leadership and “withdraw their recognition” of the Coalition. This recent news serves as a blow to the Syrian National Coalition a group that is a Western-funded opposition; a group whose goal was to overthrow Assad’s regime.
The numbers are staggering when you realize the Syrian conflict has killed more than 100,000, forced 2 million to seek shelter abroad, and has displaced 5 million in Syria. Whats left is fighting between Kurdish fighting groups and Al-Qaeda backed ones from Southern Syria; recent violence which has left as many as 41 dead.
By: Rohan Kohli