As both opposition and pro-Assad forces continue to clash over key battlegrounds in the ongoing Syrian civil war, the United States has proposed to destroy the regime’s large chemical weapons stockpiles onboard a military ship in international waters.
The proposition, which, according to the Associated Press, has yet to be approved, would put the primary responsibility of disarmament in American hands– a point of contention for other member-states of the United Nations, primarily Russia. For months, the UN has struggled to adopt a succinct and efficient way of dealing with the Syrian crises, notably disarmament, due to the unprecedented level of cooperation and action that would be necessary to scrap the nation’s entire chemical stockpile.
Naftali Bendavid of the Wall Street Journal said Friday “a nation’s entire chemical arsenal has never before been removed from its borders, and the challenges are just now becoming fully apparent.” Over the last year, nations have continually urged Syria’s Assad regime to relinquish their chemical weapons, with demands only intensifying in the aftermath of the regime’s use of Sarin gas in October. As the United States’ announced deadline for disarmament slowly approaches, the full-scale of force needed to destroy the stockpiles is becoming more apparent, and more underestimated.