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BEIRUT, December 19, 3:38 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian-made vehicles and equipment to be used in an operation to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons are reaching Latakia, Russian Ambassador to Syria Azamat Kulmukhametov told Itar-Tass over the telephone from Damascus.
“An air bridge has been established with Latakia. Ten flight have alreadt been performed,” he said. “Russian vehicles and equipment will be delivered here for the next few days.”
Russia is offering logistics support to the plan endorsed by the executive board of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It supplies heavy-duty trucks to take poisonous substances to the seaport of Latakia where they will be loaded aboard ships for subsequent destruction at sea. Containers with chemical weapons will be taken by Norwegian and Danish ships to an Italian port to be re-loaded aboard the U.S. Cape Ray vessel.
Under the plans of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, all chemical weapons are to be taken out of Syria by February 5, 2014. The most poisonous substances are to be destroyed outside Syria by March 31, 2014, the rest - by June 30, 2014.
Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations (OPCW-UN) joint mission, said that to have the containers transported to Latakia it was vitally important to see to it that the roads were open and safe.
The Syrian army is completing an anti-terrorist operation around the Damascus-Homs highway, which will be used to transport chemical weapons.