Syria has agreed to turn over its chemical weapons, in a deal put forward by Russia. Syrian President Assad says he is happy to turn over the weapons, and maintains that the chemical attack in Damascus was not carried out by the government, but by the insurgent forces.
United Nations weapons inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are on their way to Syria. Syria has already submitted a complete disclosure of all its chemical weapons. OPCW officials described the information given to them by saying "We are pleasantly surprised by the completeness of their declaration." The OPCW will begin the task of dismantling these weapons, as Syria is now a signatory member of the Chemical Weapons Convention. In an interview with Chinese Television, President Assad expressed concern that the weapons inspectors in Syria would be attacked by rebel groups. He said "There might be countries that might ask the terrorists to attack the inspectors to prevent them from doing their job, and blame the Syrian government," Assad's concerns have precedent, as a United Nations' weapons inspection team was fired on in Damascus by snipers several weeks ago. This earlier attack was condemned by the U.N. Secretary General. As the United Nations General Assembly is going to convene in New York City, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and the threat of a U.S. military strike is on everyone's mind. Voices from around the world continue to push for an end to the fighting, and a non-military resolution to the ongoing crisis.