The UN Security Council agreement on the destruction of all chemical weapons held in Syria, by both government and rebel forces, and the measures adopted to try to prevent the terrorist groups operating in the country from getting their hands on chemical weapons are welcome. However, these agreements need to be followed up by an overall political agreement, the formation of a non-sectarian government including elements of the opposition committed to human rights and democracy and an end to the illegal support of the sectarian, terrorist insurgency by western countries, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Twin agreements were made on Friday 27th September at the UN, including an agreement by the OPCW and Security Council Resolution 2118, which formalise the agreement made by the USA and Russia that Syria will join the OPCW and rapidly destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles.
This agreement is a major diplomatic triumph and was only possible due to the mobilisation of the public in the UK who managed to stop the war machine in its tracks by pressuring MPs to reject military strikes on Syria.
Unfortunately, the US administration has reportedly been resisting pressure from Russia to set a date for the long-delayed start of peace negotiations in Geneva. Various rebel brigades have declared their independence and opposition to the Syrian National Coalition, setting up a new “Islamic Alliance,” including Al Qaeda elements such as Jabhat al Nurah, and it may not be possible to get these people to the negotiating table – negotiations should not be delayed for them.
Whilst the agreements on the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons are a very welcome development, they are opposed by some insurgent groups and the chances of future false flag attacks by rebels and their sponsors will remain high. It remains important to be vigilant against renewed attempts by militaristic forces supported by propaganda from Human Rights Watch and mainstream media journalists to undermine the agreement and to put US military strikes back on the agenda.