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Russia sends 75 combat vehicles to Syria to transport chemical weapons

Published time: December 23, 2013 09:53
Edited time: December 23, 2013 11:15

RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov

Download video (5.71 MB)

Russia has delivered 75 armored trucks to Syria, along with other equipment that will be involved in the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported.

“Over the three days from December 18-20 we have airlifted to the Latakia airport 75 vehicles, including 50 Kamaz trucks and 25 Ural armored trucks,” the minister reported to President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

The vehicles “will allow for the transportation of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile to the port in Latakia for further transportation outside of the country and destruction,” he said.

Earlier the UN mission supervising the dismantling of the arsenal warned that the overland part of the operation poses a considerable challenge due to security risks posed by the continued fighting in Syria.

The cargoes also included water reservoirs, field kitchens, tents and other things the troops in Syria will need during the operation, Shoigu added in the televised conference call.

“It took 38 flights to Syria to deliver the materiel. Pilots did their jobs well. So did the troops on the ground, which provided security for the operation,” he said.

Russian military armored trucks being unloaded in Syria after an airlift. RT video still.

The Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons approved last month a plan for complete disarmament of the Syrian arsenal. Most dangerous components are to be removed from the country by the end of the year. Facilities, which were part of production and storage of chemical weapons are to be destroyed by mid-March 2014.

Syria agreed to relinquish its stockpile of chemical weapons in September amid an international crisis caused by accusations that Damascus had used sarin gas against rebel forces. The Russia-brokered deal put on pause Washington’s intention to use military force against Syria in retaliation for the alleged attack.

After a few days of negotiations, Damascus agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention and allow the OPCW, which is tasked with enforcing it, to handle the disarmament process. The plan was endorsed by the UN Security Council, which adopted a resolution that allowed foreign powers to use their troops to help the organization with its work.

Russian transport aviation troops stand to attention during a ceremony wrapping up the operation to transport military vehicles to Syria. RT video still.

Comments (32)


fish ghuts 24.12.2013 17:22

[quote name='Adam Neira' time='24.12.2013 12:02']Before the chemicals can be loaded at the port of Latakia they need to travel more than 250 kms from Damascus via the M5 Highway.
[/quote ]

M5 is a real problem.
The current phase of war is ba'ath drying up into fortified islands. The ba'ath are collapsing into a series of fortified bases and strategically critical assets. The rebels are fighting a war of attrition and attacking any exposed ba'ath asset. If rebels think ba'ath are transporting supplies or weapons then they will attack. The ba'ath have a history of lying and deception. So how do you establish trust?


Adam Neira 24.12.2013 12:02

Before the chemicals can be loaded at the port of Latakia they need to travel more than 250 kms from Damascus via the M5 Highway. Possible dangers are : IED's; Snipers; RPG's; Mortar Fire; SAM's and throw in a few possible suicide bombers etc.

Modern day "Wages of Fear" on crack for the drivers perhaps ? Questions, questions, questions...

Another move needs to be made before safe passage is possible even for these impressive trucks. And what would that move be I hear you say.

A conference !

BTW, the Geneva II proposal is seriously flawed. Another city, more central to the Middle East is required as the venue...


RichardD 24.12.2013 02:36

R 24.12.2013 01:39

Of course not! I think that the Syrian regime is in the fight of its life against foreign jihadists. I fear for the lives of innocent Syrians living in rebel controlled areas.

I was just pointing out hypocrisy. When the US offered to dispose of the chemicals with its ships at sea, people were calling it a precursor to an invasion. But Russian trucks on Syrian soil is completely normal.

Everything happening in Syria right now should not be.


Gi ven US history they were probably concerned about mission creep, and it developing into another US foreign war.

View all comments (32)
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