The government of President
But about 670 tons remain in collection points, and officials say it is unlikely that Syria will meet the Feb. 5 deadline.
Experts warned that the schedule might be overly ambitious given the fighting and instability in Syria. But the delay in surrendering the deadliest stockpiles has raised questions about whether Syria is dragging its feet, perhaps to test international resolve.
United Nations Secretary General
The Obama administration has held out the elimination of Syria's poison gas threat as a significant accomplishment, although international efforts to halt the Syrian civil war have made little progress.
President Obama cited the program Tuesday in his
Some veteran weapons inspectors have warned all along that Assad might try to retain some of the stockpiles despite his pledges. The Syrian arsenal, one of the largest in the world, included mustard gas, a blister agent, and sarin, a nerve gas, at several dozen sites.
In addition to the Category 1 chemical agents, Syria also declared 500 tons of less dangerous precursor chemicals and 122 tons of isopropanol, a solvent widely used in industry.
The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is overseeing the collection and destruction of the chemical weapons along with the U.N., is scheduled to consider Syria's performance when its executive council meets Thursday.