Third Chemical-Arms Shipment Leaves Syria

A ship docked at Italy's Gioia Tauro seaport, which is slated to host the transfer of warfare chemicals removed from Syria. The Syrian government on Monday turned over a third load of chemical-arms materials as part of an international disarmament operation.
National Journal
Diane Barnes
Add to Briefcase
Diane Barnes
Feb. 10, 2014, 6:55 a.m.

A trans­port ship on Monday re­moved a third chem­ic­al-arms cache from Syr­ia as part of a glob­al ef­fort to des­troy the rul­ing re­gime’s chem­ic­al ar­sen­al.

The ex­trac­tion of the chem­ic­als by a Nor­we­gi­an cargo ship took place days after the U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil form­ally pressed Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s gov­ern­ment to ac­cel­er­ate trans­fers of its chem­ic­al-war­fare stocks onto for­eign freight­ers, which were ini­tially sched­uled to fin­ish re­mov­ing the bulk of the ma­ter­i­als by last week.

“A sig­ni­fic­ant ef­fort is needed to en­sure the chem­ic­als that still re­main in Syr­ia are re­moved — in ac­cord­ance with a con­crete sched­ule and without fur­ther delays,” Ah­met Üzüm­cü, dir­ect­or gen­er­al of the Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons, said in pre­pared com­ments.

Less than 5 per­cent of Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al ar­sen­al re­portedly had been re­moved from the coun­try pri­or to Monday’s ship­ment. No de­tails on the size of the latest de­liv­ery are in­cluded in a state­ment re­leased on Monday by Üzüm­cü’s agency and the United Na­tions.

The or­gan­iz­a­tions con­firmed, though, that As­sad’s gov­ern­ment has pro­ceeded to des­troy “some chem­ic­al ma­ter­i­als” with­in Syr­i­an bor­ders. They did not spe­cify the type or quant­ity of chem­ic­al as­sets tar­geted for do­mest­ic elim­in­a­tion.

Dam­as­cus has at­temp­ted to jus­ti­fy delays in hand­ing over the dead­li­est por­tions of its chem­ic­al ar­sen­al by cit­ing com­plic­a­tions in mov­ing the ma­ter­i­als across the vi­ol­ence-racked na­tion, from in­land stor­age fa­cil­it­ies to the coun­try’s Latakia sea­port. However, the basis for that ar­gu­ment has faced poin­ted cri­ti­cism from in­ter­na­tion­al over­seers, who said As­sad’s gov­ern­ment holds the equip­ment it needs to en­sure the safety of over­land chem­ic­al ship­ments.

Rus­sia, a key ally of the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment, has backed the re­gime’s de­fense of its slow pro­gress in turn­ing over the chem­ic­al stocks. Last week, though, Mo­scow said Dam­as­cus in­ten­ded to hand over a sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion of the re­main­ing ma­ter­i­als by March 1.

U.N. Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al Ban Ki-moon last week joined Rus­si­an dip­lo­mats in of­fer­ing as­sur­ances that an end-of-June dead­line is still with­in reach for the stock­pile’s full de­struc­tion. The in­ter­na­tion­al push to rid Dam­as­cus of its chem­ic­al ar­sen­al began weeks after a re­lease of sar­in nerve agent took place last Au­gust in a Dam­as­cus sub­urb, al­legedly killing more than 1,400 people. As­sad’s gov­ern­ment denied re­spons­ib­il­ity for the strike, but it ad­mit­ted pos­sess­ing chem­ic­al arms and agreed to co­oper­ate in their elim­in­a­tion.

What We're Following See More »
ON THE CALL: “AT LEAST THAT WAS SACRED”
Gen. Kelly Rips Rep. Wilson for Criticism
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
GOP FORMER PRES V. GOP CURRENT PRES
Bush Slams Trump, Implicitly
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
MEETING WITH SENATE GOP
Trump to Hill Next Tuesday
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS
INTERPARTY FEUDING CONTINUES UNDER PEREZ
Longtime Progressive Members Pushed Out at DNC
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."

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