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Syria handed over 100% of declared chem weapons stockpile - watchdog

Published time: June 23, 2014 12:51
Edited time: June 23, 2014 13:39
The Ark Futura, a Danish-chartered cargo vessel which is assisting in the effort to extract Syrian chemical weapons from the country, sails in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea May 13, 2014 (Reuters)

The Ark Futura, a Danish-chartered cargo vessel which is assisting in the effort to extract Syrian chemical weapons from the country, sails in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea May 13, 2014 (Reuters)

The last of Syria’s declared chemical weapons have been handed over. “All declared chemical weapons have left Syria,” OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü told reporters at a press conference Monday.

"The last of the remaining chemicals identified for removal from Syria were loaded this afternoon aboard the Danish ship Ark Futura. The ship made its last call at the port of Latakia in what has been a long and patient campaign in support of this international endeavor," Üzümcü announced.

The destruction of the most hazardous substances will take place in Mediterranean international waters, on the American ship 'Cape Ray.'

Less hazardous substances will be destroyed in specialized facilities in Finland and the US.

Syria had 100 tonnes of toxic material remaining in the country, which had been approximately 8 percent of an initial 1,300 tonnes reported to OPCW. On April 27 it was announced that over 92% of Syrian chemical stockpile had been removed. The complete weapons destruction deadline was set for June 30.

Another OPCW visit will take place soon to Damascus to fully confirm the information and an investigation into alleged use of chlorine will be ongoing after the last shipment.

“This may take a little more time, but clearly we want to conclude it as soon as possible,” Üzümcü said when questioned over the confirmation of information. He added that another team will be sent to “verify claims of remaining assets.”

He added that he could not say for certain that Syria possesses no chemical weapons whatsoever anymore but added he would avoid “speculation.”

Disposal may take a little longer. The official said OPCW was hoping that removal would have finished taking place earlier, “but there have been delays.”

“It may take 3-4 more months, but I can’t give an exact time frame,” Üzümcü said.

The removal of chemical agents from Syria began in early January, following an agreement brokered by Russia, in which Syria renounced its chemical weapons arsenal and joined the convention on Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.

The removal of toxic material out of the country involves transporting them to the port of Latakia, where they are shipped out using commercial vessels provided by the international community.

Comments (31)


tartanpion trucmuche 02.07.2014 21:39

Derek Maher 23.06.2014 14:53

I doubt if it will do much good.
Saudi Arabia and their pet ally the US have nasty plans for Syria.


You are right. Only the gullible and disinformed will believe it will do any good to Syria


tartanpion trucmuche 02.07.2014 21:36

Keith Moss 23.06.2014 15:37

Compliments for the Russian effort in this and a well willing president Assad.
If it was for the USA very many more lives would have been lost. This is a great day. Thanks again to Putin and Lavrov, 2 masters of peace.
What a difference between these 2 and Obummer and Kerry, they both decent from satan.


Are you naive? Syria is giving up a very important part of its defense weapons and you welcome this stupid move. Just wait and see what happens next.


tartanpion trucmuche 02.07.2014 21:32

Anna Charles 24.06.2014 15:39

Honourable of them to fulfil their side of the agreement.


What is the other side of the agreement, again? What does Syria get for giving up these weapons which are a strong deterrent to ground invasion? Nothing or more to the point, more of the same. The situation in Syria will get worse, way worse.

View all comments (31)
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