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Syrian politicians say country can survive without chemical weapons

Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - 01:23

Oct. 2 - As the mission to remove and destroy Syria's chemical weapons begins, Syrian politicians say it won't affect the country greatly. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are starting the process of verifying and eliminating Syria's chemical weapons. In Damascus, the group of experts was seen leaving their hotel in a convoy of United Nations vehicles. This group arrived in the country on Tuesday in what has become a familiar scene for Syrians: another international organization coming to investigate the use of chemical weapons. This mission is part of a U.S-Russian deal to remove and destroy around 1,000 tons of sarin, mustard and other nerve agents believed to be held in Syria. Even without those weapons, Syrian parliamentarians say they believe the country has other means of defending itself. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN PARLIAMENTARIAN, KHALED AL-ABBOUD, SAYING: "In the last few years, I think that a new legal weapon has turned the scale and this weapon is not the chemical one that was used in a specific historic period. But now there is a new weapon that will move forward to be the defending weapon on the field of the war with the Zionist enemy." He did not elaborate on what that new weapon might be. Another, meanwhile, echoed her colleague's belief. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN PARLIAMENTARIAN, MARIA SAADEH, SAYING: "This will reform the region by finding a new balance of power that will use other defense means that are not based on traditional weapons or the weapons used in previous years." Recent trips by U.N. inspectors confirmed the use of sarin gas in an August attack that killed hundreds of people.

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Syrian politicians say country can survive without chemical weapons

Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - 01:23