TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian armored trucks will help take Syria’s chemical weapons out of the country, tracked by US satellite equipment and Chinese surveillance cameras, in an unprecedented international operation, the world’s chemical watchdog said.
The details are part of an ambitious plan unveiled by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at a meeting of its Executive Council published Wednesday despite delays to the overall operation which aims to be completed by mid-2014, Al Jazeera reported.
The plan draws on the resources of multiple countries to remove and destroy Syria’s declared stockpile of about 1,300 tons of chemicals weapons, ingredients and precursors.
Several nations have already announced offers of help, including the United States, in the project to destroy the weapons, including mustard gas, sarin and VX nerve gas.
The OPCW had set itself a December 31 deadline for the most dangerous chemicals to be taken out of Syria, via Latakia, but that date is likely to be pushed back.
Syria’s most dangerous chemicals must be destroyed by March 31.
“Schedules have been disrupted by a combination of security concerns, clearance procedures in international transit and even inclement weather conditions,” OPCW head Ahmet Uzumcu said in his speech made at an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday.
Finland is providing chemical weapons emergency-response capabilities for the operation, Uzumcu said.
Russia will also provide sailors and naval vessels to secure cargo operations at Latakia and within Syrian territorial waters.
Danish and Norwegian frigates, currently positioned in Cyprus, will take the chemicals from Latakia to an unnamed port in Italy.
Then the containers – carrying mustard gas and sarin among other chemicals – will be loaded onto the unnamed US Navy ship and taken out into international waters before being destroyed in a specially created titanium tank on board.
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