Syria 'submits chemical arms data'

The chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, says Syria has begun sending details of its arsenal as part of a US-Russia brokered deal to make it safe.

The Hague-based organisation added that it expected more details from Syria in the coming days and had postponed a meeting planned for Sunday.

Syria was given a Saturday deadline to give a full list of its chemical arms.

The US had threatened military action over a chemical attack in Damascus last month, which the UN called a war crime.

The US, UK and France have accused Syrian government forces of carrying out the attack, but President Bashar al-Assad has blamed rebel groups.

Meeting postponed

A spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) told Reuters news agency on Friday: “We have received part of the verification and we expect more.”

A UN diplomat confirmed to the news agency that details had been submitted, adding: “It’s quite long… and being translated.”

The core members of the OPCW are expected to vote on the timetable next week.

However, the OPCW said in a statement on Friday that a meeting of its executive council scheduled for Sunday had been postponed, without giving a reason.

“We will announce the new date and time… as soon as possible,” it said.