September 20, 2013 / 1:18 PM / in 6 years

Syria has given chemical weapons details to watchdog

A U.N. chemical weapons expert (2nd L) takes a picture of a person affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital where she is being treated , in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Syria has submitted details of its chemical weapons to Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, the organization told Reuters on Friday.

Syria is believed to possess around 1,000 tonnes of chemical toxins, and has agreed to destroy them under a joint Russian-U.S. proposal designed to avert a U.S. strike on Syria.

“We have received part of the verification and we expect more,” an OPCW spokesman said.

A U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the details had been submitted, saying: “It’s quite long ... and being translated.”

The organization’s core members are due to vote - probably next week - on a plan aimed at fast-tracking the destruction of Syria’s chemical stockpiles by mid-2014.

The plan has emerged from a U.S. threat to attack Syria and a burst of international diplomacy after a poison gas attack killed hundreds of civilians on the outskirts of Damascus last month.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch in The Hague, additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Sara Webb and Kevin Liffey

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