OPCW says Gaddafi's mustard gas is under army control

A representative from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons recently said that Libya's 9.5 tons of mustard gas are under the control of the army, but stored in a location far from Gaddafi’s main bastion in Tripoli.

"As far as we have been able to verify, and we have no information that indicates anything to the contrary, Libya destroyed the entire stockpile of its chemical weapons munitions -- a cache of several thousand aerial bombs that are designed for chemicals -- in early 2004, seven years ago," the OPCW’s Michael Luhan said, according to Reuters.

Luhan refused to comment on where the cache of mustard gas was located, but reassured that it was nowhere near Tripoli.

"It's kept in a location which is only for that purpose," Luhan said, Reuters reports. "It's a depot guarded by the military."

Peter Flory, then-U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, told Congress in April 2006 that Libya stored its chemical weapons in a remote desert location.

As the current crisis in Libya continues, there are fears that Gaddafi, who said he will fight to the death, could turn to chemical weapons in a desperate effort to hold onto power.

The OPCW, which enforces a global chemical weapons ban, monitored Libya’s destruction of more than 3,300 bomb casings designed to carry chemical weapons since 2004.

Libya joined the OPCW in 2004 and committed itself to destroying its chemical weapons by April 29, 2007. Disputes between Tripoli and Washington over funding the destruction program caused Libya to back out of destroying its stockpiles in 2007.

The OPCW then granted Libya an extension until 2011 to destroy the rest of its mustard gas.