Reporting Anjali Hemphill
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – On Monday, inspectors from the United Nations are expected to release their findings from the Syrian chemical attack that killed 1,400 men, women and children.
Since that attack, Syrian officials struck a deal to hand over their chemical weapons. It’s a deal one former weapon inspector doesn’t trust.
Tim McCarthy is a former U.N. weapon inspector from Northern California who was part of the U.S. team that searched Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
At this point, he says it’s too difficult to determine if this deal is a good one for the United States.
The Syrian government blames the attack on rebel forces.
Obama threatened to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with cruise missile attacks, until Russian diplomats and Secretary of State John Kerry came up with a plan for Syria to hand over their chemical weapons to U.N. inspectors.
“There is a lot of uncertainties and many unanswered questions in this agreed framework,” said McCarthy.
But he is concerned with how the plan will be carried out.
“Who will be on the teams? Who will lead the teams? And, so forth. More importantly, we have really no idea when we get to a crisis point in these inspections and there will be a crisis point somewhere down the road,” said McCarthy.
There’s another big hurdle, says McCarthy, once an inventory is secured, they must decide how to dispose of the weapons.
“There’s burning, there’s adding water to dilute the ammunition, blowing it up or effectively dumping it into the ground,” he said.
McCarthy says he’s not optimistic that the latest agreement will actually rid Syria of their chemical weapons.
“If you turned to me tomorrow as a professional inspector and said ‘go do this,’ I could not. There is simply not enough detail in the document,” he said.
U.N. inspectors are expected to announce their findings Monday.
The U.N. secretary general believes there will be an overwhelming report that chemical weapons were used in that attack.