OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission in Syria on track to meet November 1 goals

The Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations regarding the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program reported that it is on track to hit its November goals.

The joint mission is expected to investigate the 23 chemical weapon production plants disclosed by Syria and disable their production capabilities by November 1, 2013. The joint mission is also expected to achieve complete destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program by June, 2014.

OPCW Spokesperson Michael Luhan said the joint mission has visited 18 of the chemical production sites declared by Damascus to date. Luhan reports that Syria is cooperating fully with the OPCW and U.N. personnel of the joint mission.

"Interaction with U.N. remains excellent and cooperation from Syrian authorities complete," Luhan said.

Luhan said the joint mission is focusing on the destruction of the most important production facilities first, to ensure the chemical weapon production plants are unusable as soon as possible. The plants are being destroyed using a method that prevents their reconstruction.

"It means that [Syria] will no longer have the capability to produce any more chemical weapons, and it will no longer have any working equipment to mix and to fill chemical weapons agent into munitions," Luhan said.

Luhan said the joint mission is on track to disable the use of all 23 declared production plants by November 1.