Syria has completed the process of destroying critical equipment for producing chemical weapons, says the OPCW, the global chemical weapons watchdog. The announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons comes one day before the Nov 1 deadline set by it for Syria to destroy or "render inoperable" all production facilities for chemicals weapons.
Put simply, it means that Syria can no longer produce new chemical weapons. However, it is yet to start destroying existing weapons and stockpiles. The country is believed to have 1,000 metric tons of chemicals and weapons including mustard gas and nerve gas sarin.
The completion of the initial destruction is a significant milestone in a timeline that aims to destroy all Syrian chemical weapons by mid-2014. Syria has submitted a plan for the total destruction of its chemical weapons, to be approved next month by the OPCW.