By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia and the United States put aside bitter differences over Syria this month to strike a deal to remove President Bashar al-Assad's chemical arsenal and avert U.S. military action against him.
But efforts to forge a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing that plan have run into difficulties due to disagreements between Russia on one side and the United States, Britain and France on the other, U.N. diplomats say.
The U.S.-Russia deal came after an August 21 sarin gas attack near Damascus that Washington says killed more than 1,400 people, many of them children. Following are questions and answers about the plan to dismantle Syria's poison gas program.
WHAT IS THE SIZE OF SYRIA'S CHEMICAL ARSENAL?
Syria has roughly 1,000 tonnes of chemical toxins - including mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin and VX - spread over as many as 50 sites around the country.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE HAGUE'S CHEMICAL ARMS AGENCY?
The 41-member Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague is hoping to vote this week on a joint Russian-American proposal to rapidly verify and destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. That vote has been repeatedly delayed.
According to the U.S.-Russia framework agreement, the chemical arms agency's Executive Council will detail "special procedures for expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof.