Syrian chemical weapons destruction will take one year, Assad says

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Damascus will destroy its chemical weapons arsenal, but the process will take a year and cost the Arab country a billion dollars.

“I think it’s a very complicated operation, technically. And it needs a lot of money, about a billion,” Assad said during an interview with Fox News broadcast on Wednesday.

“So it depends, you have to ask the experts what they mean by quickly. It has a certain schedule. It needs a year, or maybe a little bit more,” he added.

The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the Assad government of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

On September 10, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Damascus is ready to implement a Russian proposal to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international control.

Moscow proposed the initiative during a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Muallem in Moscow on September 9.

“We want to join the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons. We are ready to observe our obligations in accordance with that convention, including providing all information about these weapons,” Muallem said.

In response, US President Barack Obama asked Congress to delay a vote on authorizing military action against Syria in order to give the Russian proposal a chance to play out.

On Monday, the United Nations issued a report by UN investigators, which said sarin nerve agent was used in the attack that allegedly killed hundreds of people. The UN team’s mandate did not include assigning blame for the attack.

By Press TV

 

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