UN votes to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons


UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, a landmark decision aimed at taking poison gas off the battlefield in the escalating 2½-year conflict.

The vote on Friday night marked a major breakthrough in the paralysis that has gripped the council since the Syrian uprising began. Russia and China previously vetoed three Western-backed resolutions pressuring President Bashar Assad’s regime to end the violence.

For the first time, the council endorsed the roadmap for a political transition in Syria adopted by key nations in June 2012 and called for an international conference to be convened “as soon as possible” to implement it.

The resolution calls for consequences if Syria fails to comply, but those will depend on the council passing another resolution in the event of noncompliance.