Free Syrian Army fighters run to take cover in the refugee camp of Yarmouk, near Damascus.
UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations yesterday received a Syrian application to join the international convention banning chemical weapons, in a move that could head off a western military strike.
A UN spokesman confirmed that Syria had sent accession documents to the world body, which is guarantor of the 1993 convention banning the production and stockpiling of the arms.
Syria’s UN envoy said joining the convention was the end of a “chapter” in the Syria crisis. “In the past few hours we have received a document from the government of Syria,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq, adding that it was “an accession document.”
Syria had been one of seven UN members that have refused to join the 1993 convention. But President Bashar Al Assad’s government announced it would sign up as part of a Russian plan to put his country’s chemical arsenal under international control.
The UN spokesman said it could take a few days to complete the accession process. Syria’s UN ambassador Bashar Jaafari said his government now considered itself a full member of the convention.