Syria moving chemical weapons materials out ofcountry

Syria moves chemical weapons out of country

5:57 AM, 11th January 2014
Syria moves chemical weapons

BEIRUT, LEBANON: Syria has started moving chemical weapons materials out of the country in a crucial phase of an internationally backed disarmament programme that has been delayed by war and technical problems. According to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the “priority chemical materials” were transported to the port of Latakia and onto a Danish vessel which was now sailing towards international waters.

Syria agreed to abandon its chemical weapons by June under a deal proposed by Russia and agreed with the United States after sarin gas attack that Western nations blamed on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Damascus blames rebels for the attack.

The OPCW did not disclose what percentage of Syria’s toxic arsenal - which totals 1,300 tonne in all — had been removed but said nine containers of the most dangerous chemical materials were on the Danish cargo vessel. “The vessel has been accompanied by naval escorts provided by Denmark and Norway, as well as the Syrian Arab Republic. It will remain at sea awaiting the arrival of additional priority chemical materials at the port,” a statement said.

Government forces have taken back control of the highway linking Damascus to the coast which is needed to transport the toxins. Rebel were ousted from three towns along the road but activists say convoys moving along it will remain vulnerable to rebel ambushes.

© TimesOfIndia News

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