Speaking to PRI's The World, Carnegie's Paul Schulte explained that if the Syrian regime has decided to give up its chemical weapons, the international community might want to revisit what happened to the chemical weapons stockpiles in Iraq after the 1991 conflict.
"The Iraqis admitted they had very large amounts of chemical weapons and they pointed out where they were, and the UN team destroyed them," Schulte said, adding "they did it quickly, not very quickly; they did it over several periods over several months, but they did it efficiently with a rather small team."
Schulte suggested that this could serve as a model in Syria. The inspectors would have to check the information they receive against the information intelligence services know. But, Schulte pointed out, "it's very difficult to prove a negative so you would have to rely on your general impression of Syrian truthfulness."
Schulte also mentioned the difficulty of carrying out a mission of this nature and protecting the inspectors in the middle of a civil war. "Who's going to do it? Should it be the Syrian army? Can you trust them to take things away? What happens if they come under fire from the rebels, including rebels who may want to seize stuff themselves?"
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