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Mission to destroy Syria chemical weapons underway

Mission to destroy Syria chemical weapons underway
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The mission to destroy some of Syria’s chemical weapons is underway. Russian trucks will transport the chemicals from sites around Syria to the country’s port of Latakia.

Danish and Norwegian ships will carry the chemicals to a port in Italy where they will be loaded onto a US government cargo ship.

Commodore Torben Mikkelsen, commander of the Danish-led Danish-Norwegian flotilla that will transfer Syria’s chemical stockpile for destruction is ready to do whatever is requested.

Speaking in the Cypriot port of Limassol, he said the destination of the cargo was to be decided depending on what they would pick up at the Syrian port of Latakia.

“…it depends on that cargo we are going to pick up because some of the cargo has go on board the USS Cape Ray and some other cargo has to go to the UK. So, it depends on what cargo will be in the port of Latakia,” said Commander Mikkelsen.

The flotilla first sailed off in December but due to delays returned to Cyprus.

The USS Cape Ray carries a labyrinth of tubes and valves in its hold, including two massive treatment units that will neutralise 700 tons of chemical weapons, such as mustard gas and a form of sarin nerve gas.

The system uses water and a chemical cocktail to break down the toxic weapons.

The waste product will be destroyed at undisclosed chemical sites.

A US-Russian agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014 was prompted by the confirmed use of chemical weapons in Damascus, Syria in August 2013.

The US government said 1,400 people died in an attack there.