Britain says OPCW Syria success does little to help beleaguered people

Nov. 1, 2013 at 10:01 AM
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LONDON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Restricting Syria's chemical weapons capability does little to address the troubles facing the Syrian people, Britain's Foreign Commonwealth Office said.

A statement from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that Syria's ability to make chemical weapons had been destroyed was an "important first milestone" but won't bring relief to the people, an FCO statement said Friday.

"[The Syrian government] continues to use artillery, air power and siege tactics against civilians, with thousands killed every month. As winter approaches, the humanitarian situation grows more acute with millions left vulnerable," the statement said.

The OPCW said it destroyed Syria's ability to manufacture chemical weapons at the processing facilities disclosed by the government.

U.N. inspectors in Syria confirmed the nerve agent sarin was used in combat in August. The inspectors were not mandated to assess blame for the attack.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday the OPCW success wasn't the end of the story in Syria.

"We must also be crystal clear that eliminating Syria's chemical weapons is not a substitute for ending the civil war, nor does it end the humanitarian catastrophe that continues to unfold," he said.

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