Syria celebrates "victory" over chemical weapons deal
The Syrian government declared "victory" for its countryover the recent chemical weapons deal.
A Syrian minister told a Russian news network that the deal helped the country avert U.S. military action and thanked Russia's diplomacy for making the deal happen.
The U.S. and Russia agreed Saturday to bring Syria's chemical weapons under international control and destroy it all by the middle of next year.
Under the deal, Syria has one week to declare what it has and by November, inspectors will start arriving in the country to destroy or remove the weapons.
Although the new deal postpones U.S. strikes on Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Israel, said military action was still a possibility.
"Diplomacy has always been the preferred path of the President of the United States, and I think any peace-loving nation's preferred choice. But make no mistake, we've taken no options off the table."
Meanwhile a former UN inspector on chemical weapons has expressed doubts Syria will meet the target date in destroying all of its chemical arms.
"The timeline, mid 2014 that the destruction has been completed by mid-2014 will be a huge challenge and I think technically, probably, it will not be possible to complete by mid-2014"
Experts believe Syria has one thousand tons of deadly chemical weapons spread across about 50 cities.
A UN report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war is set to be released on Monday.
Connie Lee, Arirang News.
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