Russia aids transport of Syria chemical arms

The toxins are to be destroyed under an international agreement to rid the nation of its chemical arsenal

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Chemical weapons being transported from Syria will be moved with the help of 25 armored trucks and 50 other vehicles sent by Russia, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.

The toxins are to be destroyed under an international agreement to rid the nation of its chemical arsenal.

In a report to President Vladimir Putin, Shoigu said Russian aircraft delivered 50 Kamaz trucks and 25 Ural armored trucks to the Syrian port city of Latakia late last week along with other equipment, state-run news agency RIA reported.

“The Defense Ministry has very swiftly implemented actions to deliver to Syria equipment and materiel to provide for the removal of Syrian chemical weapons and their destruction,” Shoigu was quoted as saying.

Syria has agreed to abandon it chemical weapons under a deal proposed by Russia to avert potential U.S. military action after a deadly Aug. 21 sarin gas attack the United States blamed on President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Russia’s move follows an announcement from Britain earlier this week that it will will provide a navy ship to secure the removal of chemical weapons from Syria.

Some of the chemicals included in the Syrian stockpile are not in themselves dangerous, and 150 tons of these will be transported to Britain to be incinerated at a commercial facility.

The military vessel will “assist in the safety and security of Danish and Norwegian cargo ships in international waters when removing the entire chemical stockpile from Syria by sea,” a spokesman said.

Britain has also agreed to provide specialist equipment to the United States in the hydrolysis of the most sensitive chemicals before their final destruction aboard a U.S. ship in international waters.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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