Chemical experts eye port to load Syria toxins onto US ship

US modifying a naval vessel to be able to destroy chemicals; Italy, Norway and Denmark offer to act as middlemen.

By REUTERS
December 5, 2013 03:01
1 minute read.
A UN team examining samples from site of August 21 attack in Damascus.

UN chemical inspectors in Syria 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah)



UNITED NATIONS- The United Nations and the global chemical weapons watchdog are awaiting approval from a country to use its port to load Syria's most deadly chemicals onto a US ship for destruction offshore, the head of the mission said on Wednesday.




Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Sigrid Kaag, head of the joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Syria mission, briefed the UN Security Council on Wednesday but did not identify which country she had been in talks with.




The OPCW said on Saturday the United States had started modifying a US naval vessel to be able to destroy Syria's 500 tons of chemicals, including actual nerve agents - neutralizing them offshore with other chemicals in a process known as hydrolysis.




Italy, Norway and Denmark have offered to transport Syria's chemicals from the northern Syrian port of Latakia with military escorts. The chemicals would then be transferred to the US ship at another port.




"We're still awaiting confirmation by a member state that a port is available for trans-loading, so it will be trans-loading in a port," Kaag told reporters after briefing the council.




When asked if the port to be used would likely be in the Mediterranean, she said: "The geographic range is quite significant, so no, not necessarily. At the moment, we're discussing and we're hoping to have early confirmation soon."




The Hague-based OPCW, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, has been given the task of overseeing destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stocks under an agreement that averted US missile strikes.



Related Content

Al- Qaida linked fighters in Syria.
May 3, 2014
Growing number of Americans are in Middle East civil war

By JPOST.COM STAFF

Israel Weather
  • 9 - 22
    Beer Sheva
    10 - 19
    Tel Aviv - Yafo
  • 9 - 17
    Jerusalem
    10 - 17
    Haifa
  • 13 - 26
    Elat
    11 - 21
    Tiberias