Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















WAR REPORT
Syria's declared chemical arms '100% destroyed': watchdog
By Maude Brulard and Jo Biddle
The Hague (AFP) Jan 5, 2016


Syria's declared chemical weapons arsenal has been completely destroyed capping more than two years of work, a global arms watchdog said Tuesday, amid concern sarin gas is still being unleashed in the country's complex civil war.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) -- which oversaw the dangerous removal and elimination of Syria's avowed stockpile -- has for months been warning of the continued use of mustard, sarin and chlorine gas in the brutal conflict.

But it has avoided blaming either the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the rebels or the Islamic State group for the use of the weapons banned under international law.

After years of denials, the regime caved to international pressure in September 2013 and agreed under a US-Russia deal to hand over its toxic stockpile to the OPCW for destruction.

The admission came after a sarin gas attack in August that year on rebel-held areas near Damascus that was blamed by the West and the opposition on the regime. Hundreds of civilians were killed.

The removal of the weapons was the result of a historic deal which averted threatened US air strikes against Damascus after the August attacks.

"One hundred percent has been destroyed," Malik Ellahi, the OPCW spokesman, told AFP on Tuesday.

With the UN Security Council poised to discuss the chemical weapons issue on Tuesday, OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu said: "This process closes an important chapter in the elimination of Syria's chemical weapon programme."

But he acknowledged the organisation based in The Hague was still continuing "efforts to clarify Syria's declaration and address ongoing use of toxic chemicals as weapons in that country."

In a separate report released Monday after being sent to the Security Council last week, the watchdog said it was investigating 11 incidents reported by the Syrian government in which people may have been exposed to sarin or sarin-like gas.

"Further investigation would be necessary to determine when or under what circumstances such exposure might have occurred," the report said.

Previous fact-finding missions by the OPCW in Syria have pointed to the use of chlorine and mustard gas.

- Source of arms unknown -

Both the regime and the so-called Islamic State group have been accused of using chemical weapons in the war, although it remains unclear where the arms have come from.

Under the terms of a deal hammered out in Geneva in September 2013 by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Syria finally admitted to possessing over 1,000 tonnes of chemical weapons and agreed to hand them over for destruction.

Under the agreement, Syria's entire chemical arsenal had been due to be eliminated by June 30, 2014, and all chemical effluent by December 31, 2014.

But the timetable slipped badly amid protractions by the Assad regime and complications posed by the nearly five-year civil war which has claimed more than 250,000 lives.

The last remaining vestiges of the regime's declared stockpile -- some 75 cylinders of highly-corrosive hydrogen fluoride -- were destroyed by the US firm Veolia at its treatment plant Port Arthur in Texas, the OPCW said.

"This completes destruction of all chemical weapons declared by the Syrian Arab Republic," the OPCW said in a statement issued Monday.

"The need to devise a technical solution for treating a number of cylinders in a deteriorated and hazardous condition had delayed the disposal process," it added.

The first shipment of chemical weapons left Syria from its port of Latakia in January 2014.

A total of 1,300 metric tonnes of chemical weapons have now been removed from Syria, with the majority neutralised on the US Navy ship MV Cape Ray and turned into less harmful effluent.

The OPCW's work in Syria saw it being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.

bur-jkb/jhe/ser

VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT

.


Related Links






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
WAR REPORT
Thousands protest against Saudi Arabia in Baghdad
Baghdad (AFP) Jan 4, 2016
Thousands of supporters of a prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric protested near the foreign ministry Monday to demand Baghdad sever ties with Saudi Arabia. The demonstrators chanted slogans praising their leader Moqtada al-Sadr and condemning the execution by the Riyadh authorities of Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. The execution on Saturday sparked outrage across the Shiite world and beyond ... read more


WAR REPORT
Work on U.S. BMD complex in Poland expected to start in summer

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen capital

Germany withdraws Patriot missiles from Turkey

Israeli missile interceptor passes final test

WAR REPORT
Iranian navy test fires rockets near US carrier

Lockheed Martin receives $528 million THAAD missile contract

Indian Navy test-fires long range surface-to-air missile

Lockheed Martin to supply 12 rocket systems to UAE

WAR REPORT
Tern moves closer to full-scale demonstration of VTOL UAVs for small ships

DARPA awards Northrop Grumman Phase III TERN contract

Drone helps icebreaker navigate treacherous Antarctic

Army unit retires Hunter unmanned aircraft systems

WAR REPORT
ADS to build one of two satellites for future COMSAT NG system

Thales and Airbus to supply French military satellite communications

Elbit upgrades tactical intelligence capabilities for Asian country

New tactical radio order for Harris Corporation

WAR REPORT
Kongsberg receives CROWS program order

Turkey contracts Otokar for Cobra II armored vehicles

Forensic seismology tested on 2006 munitions depot 'cook-off' in Baghdad

Kongsberg Protector selected for General Dynamics Stryker

WAR REPORT
Germany warns Saudi Arabia it may review military exports

Pentagon needs to cut more civilian jobs, report finds

U.S., Russia dominate arms transfers to developing countries

PM Abe's cabinet approves largest defence budget

WAR REPORT
PM Abe pledges to keep Japan out of war

Beijing rejects Vietnam protest over South China Sea landing

China restructures military as Xi eyes 'strong army'

China announces military reforms

WAR REPORT
Program seeks ability to assemble atom-sized pieces into practical products

New acoustic technique reveals structural information in nanoscale materials

Nanodevices at one-hundredth the cost

Scientists blueprint tiny cellular 'nanomachine'




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.