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Syria Won’t Meet Deadline for Chemical Weapons Removal

No more than 5% of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile has been turned over to the United Nations-appointed teams charged with removing and destroying them. In a report by the Reuters news agency, officials were quoted as saying that Damascus will certainly miss next week’s deadline for surrendering the chemical weapons and more alarming, there is no indication that the rest of the stockpiles will be forthcoming at all. If Syria fails to fulfill its commitment, a call for sanctions will presumably follow, but it remains very unlikely that Russia and China will change their position and allow punitive measures to be imposed on the Assad regime. It is equally unlikely that the United States will re-institute its plans for a military strike on Syria that were called off when President Obama opted for the diplomatic option.