OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission verifies destruction of category III munitions in Syria

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-U.N. Joint Mission to destroy chemical weapons in Syria verified the destruction of all category III munitions declared by Syria, the OPCW announced on Friday.

On November 30, Sigrid Kaag, the special coordinator for the OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission in Syria said the Syrian government informed the mission it completed destruction of all category III items. At the time of the statement, the mission was able to verify the destruction of 63 percent of all declared category III items. Category III chemical munitions represent unfilled munitions, such as unfilled warheads and bombs.

The team also verified the destruction of additional special features of structures and buildings at chemical weapon production facilities that were previously rendered inoperable during the mission's first phase.

The OPCW said the activities were conducted at the Homs cluster of sites that were previously inaccessible due to security concerns.

During her November statement, Kaag said the OPCW made the decision that chemicals in Syria's chemical weapons program would be removed from the country and destroyed outside its territory on a U.S. ship outside of Syrian territorial waters. She said the chemicals would mostly be in the form of binary precursor chemicals.