Syria Blows Past Chemical Weapons Deadline

Meanwhile, UN decries treatment of children in war
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2014 7:44 AM CST
The M/V Cape Ray is seen in Portsmouth, Va.. The ship departed last week on a mission to destroy Syrian chemical weapons.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – Today was supposed to be the deadline for Syria to turn over all of its chemical weapons—and it's not even close. So far Syria has handed the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons just 4% of the promised 1,433 tons of chemicals, Reuters reports, and an OPCW spokesperson says there haven't been any shipments since January 27. Russia said yesterday that more shipments would be coming soon, but Western diplomats see no sign of that.

In other Syria news:

  • An estimated 10,000 children have been killed in the conflict, according to a UN report from last week that's just now making headlines. Figures like that have been reported before, but the report also accuses the regime of holding children as young as 11 in adult detention centers, and subjecting them to torture— including beatings with metal cables, electrical shocks to the genitals, ripping out fingernails, and sexual violence, according to the New York Times.
  • Western-backed rebels, meanwhile, have summarily executed children, and are using children as soldiers. While there's no policy of recruiting young boys, there's no age verification procedure, and "many boys stated that they felt it was their duty" to fight.
  • Another group that's been signing up: Americans. US intelligence officials said yesterday that at least 50 Americans have joined extremist rebel factions in Syria, raising concerns that they might commit terrorist attacks when they return home, the LA Times reports.

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