Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

First batch of chemical weapons leaves Syria - OPCW

Published time: January 07, 2014 15:02
Edited time: January 07, 2014 16:09
A handout picture taken on January 5, 2014, and released by Norwegian Armed Forces, the Danish support vessel L17 "Esbern Snare" on training with the Norwegian frigate HNoMS "Helge Ingstad" in the Mediterranean sea in preparation to escort a delayed shipment of Syria's chemical agents for destruction. (AFP Photo / Lars Magne Hovtun)

A handout picture taken on January 5, 2014, and released by Norwegian Armed Forces, the Danish support vessel L17 "Esbern Snare" on training with the Norwegian frigate HNoMS "Helge Ingstad" in the Mediterranean sea in preparation to escort a delayed shipment of Syria's chemical agents for destruction. (AFP Photo / Lars Magne Hovtun)

The first batch of Syrian chemical weapons has left the Syrian port of Latakia on a Danish ship "for international waters", the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement.

"The vessel has been accompanied by naval escorts provided by Denmark and Norway, as well as the Syrian Arab Republic," the statement reads. "It will remain at sea awaiting the arrival of additional priority chemical materials at the port."

Though the international watchdog referred to the removed arms as "priority chemical materials", which came from "two sites", it did not elaborate how much of it was loaded onto the Danish commercial vessel.

Among the full arsenal of weapons to be transported will be some 20 tons of mustard nerve agent. It is intended that the weapons be destroyed abroad away from the war zone.

An OPCW statement published on November 15 outlined the plan for the destruction of the chemicals. After the “most critical” chemicals are removed, all other chemical substances – excluding isopropanol (a key ingredient in the production of sarin) – will be taken out of the country by February 5. The “sequenced destruction,” runs according to a “risk-based criterion.”

The initial deadline for taking the first chemical consignment out of Syria was set for December 31, meaning Norwegian and Danish ships were forced to return to port in Cyprus a week ago. The reasons cited for the delay were “war, bad weather and bureaucracy,” according to an OPCW official.

The passage of the chemicals through international waters is being safeguarded through the provision of ‘naval escorts’ from Russia, Denmark, Norway and China.

Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons by June through a deal brokered by Russia, which defused Washington’s intention to use military force against Syria. The deal followed a sarin gas attack on August 21 that western nations accused President Bashar Assad of orchestrating. Syria says that rebels were responsible for the use of chemical agents.

A US vessel, the cargo ship MV Cape Ray is prepared to set sail for the coast of Italy, where it will receive the load to destroy in international waters. The actual work could probably take 45 days under ideal conditions, but the mission is now expected to last about 90 days because of bad weather.

Russia, as well as providing an escort warship, Pyotr Veliky, has sent 75 armored trucks to Syria and allocated $2 million in funds and other equipment to be used for the chemical weapons elimination process, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on December 23.

The Syrian government is shouldering the responsibility of ensuring that chemical weapons are safely packaged and delivered to the port – including their passage through areas in which rebels remain active.

Comments (21)

 

Love 15.01.2014 21:57

So the US is to dispose of the CW, really? The same US that funds & arms the 'alCIAda/ militants' in Syria? The same US that DEA agents Manuel Castanon & David Herrod and Patrick Hearn, a former US Justice Department prosecutor say the DEA were involved as per written deals, with Sinaloa, purveyor of 80% of Chicago's (mayor Rahm Israel Emanuel-land) heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine? The US that allows, under their watch, Afghanistan to be the purveyor of 75-90% of the world's heroin?
So these chemical weapons are in safe hands?

 

Rak on 08.01.2014 13:34

Proud Atheist 08.01.2014 13:25

There is a difference between war & terrorism. Drones are part of the war; yet their use need to have a professional oversight. Their use would improve and will get after the intended targets.

  


Re ally, than the drone that killed wedding goers was done with professional oversight? Nobody in Yemen gave the drone premission to strike. Yet here we are... dead civilians.

 

Rak on 08.01.2014 13:21

Proud Atheist 08.01.2014 12:30

Many people who were born Christians have become either non-religious or accepted to set aside all the non-sense they see in their religion.

  


Ye s that is true but than again, with drones it seems to become acceptable to target suspects in less advanced countries. The difference being, one is a man on a suicide mission and other is a machine on a suicide mission.

View all comments (21)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us