Syria’s Last Chemical Cache Locked in Place by Fighting

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
May 9, 2014, 9:31 a.m.

Syr­ia’s fi­nal de­clared batch of war­fare chem­ic­al can­not be ex­trac­ted for de­struc­tion at this point be­cause of heavy fight­ing, a U.N. of­fi­cial has con­firmed.

“There is a lot of fight­ing tak­ing place,” Sigrid Kaag, the dip­lo­mat over­see­ing Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al dis­arm­a­ment, was quoted as say­ing on Thursday by the New York Times. “It’s not a situ­ation where you want a chem­ic­al weapons con­voy passing through.”

At a brief­ing with re­port­ers in New York, Kaag provided per­haps the most spe­cif­ic in­form­a­tion to date about the fi­nal eight per­cent of Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al weapons stock­pile that have yet to be re­moved from the coun­try. Locked in place at an air­field east of Dam­as­cus are 100 tons of ma­ter­i­als, packed in­to 16 con­tain­ers, that could be used to make the deadly nerve agent sar­in, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

Once of­fi­cials can safely ac­cess the site, Kaag said it would take “less than a work­ing week” to pack the ma­ter­i­als and ship them to the port of Latakia, from which they could be taken for de­struc­tion to a U.S.-provided cargo ship mod­i­fied for the mis­sion.

While the ma­ter­i­als were con­sidered “safe and se­cure” at the re­gime-con­trolled air­field on Thursday, the rebel group threat­en­ing the site are “the more ex­treme kind,” the dip­lo­mat warned. “Glob­al ji­had has come to Syr­ia.”

Kaag in­dic­ated that mil­it­ary ac­tion by the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment was planned to push back the rebels.

“From their per­spect­ive, it is something that needs to hap­pen be­cause it is an im­port­ant route, and it’s not far from Dam­as­cus,” she was quoted as say­ing by the AP.

Syr­ia so far has re­moved roughly 92 per­cent of its de­clared chem­ic­al stocks, fol­low­ing a pledge to dis­arm last year in the wake of a sar­in gas at­tack in a Dam­as­cus. The re­gime made the com­mit­ment be­cause West­ern powers had con­sidered a mil­it­ary strike.

The Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons has sent in­spect­ors to the coun­try to in­vest­ig­ate al­leg­a­tions that Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment forces re­cently used mu­ni­tions filled with chlor­ine gas in the civil war.

What We're Following See More »
INDUSTRY ALREADY CUTTING BACK IN ANTICIPATION
Trump Makes Good on Threat to Tax Solar Imports
9 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"In the biggest blow he’s dealt to the renewable energy industry yet, President Donald Trump decided on Monday to slap tariffs on imported solar panels. The U.S. will impose duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry that relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply. Just the mere threat of tariffs has shaken solar developers in recent months, with some hoarding panels and others stalling projects in anticipation of higher costs."

Source:
GOP MUST REDRAW MAP BEFORE 2018 ELECTION
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Electoral Map
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
Source:
ENVISIONS PUBLIC-PRIVATE INVESTMENT COOPERATION
Text of White House Infrastructure Bill Leaks Online
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Text from the Trump Administration's planned infrastructure program were published online. According to the documents, 50 percent of funds appropriated for the program will be used to encourage "state, local, and private investment in core infrastructure by providing incentives in the form of grants. Federal incentive funds will be conditioned on achieving milestones within an identified time frame." An additional 10 percent of funds are earmarked for "innovative or transformative" infrastructure projects, 25 percent for rural infrastructure projects, 7 percent for federal lending programs, and 5 percent to create a financing fund for "large-dollar real property purchases." White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: “We are not going to comment on the contents of a leaked document but look forward to presenting our plan in the near future."

Source:
IT’S OFFICIAL
Senate Votes to End Shutdown
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
DACA VOTE TO COME
Dems Agree to Take McConnell’s Deal
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he's accepting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's offer to hold an immigration vote at a later date, "clearing the way for passage of a bill to reopen the federal government" today. "McConnell early Monday promised to take up an immigration bill that would protect an estimated 800,000 Dreamers from deportation, under an open amendment process, if Democrats would agree to end the government shutdown."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login