MOSCOW, December 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia handed over equipment to Syria to ensure security of chemical weapons and their disposal, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
“In compliance with your instruction of December 11, 2013 the Defense Ministry took measures to hand over equipment to Syria in order to withdraw chemical weapons and dispose of it,” Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
Over three days (from December 18 to December 20) aircraft carried 75 pieces of automotive equipment, including 50 KAMAZ trucks and 25 armored Ural vehicles, the minister said.
Other equipment has been also delivered, he said, adding: "These are tanks for water, field kitchens, army tents for a contingent, which will deal with transporting and disposing of chemical weapons."
Thirty-eight flights have been made, Shoigu said. “Pilots carried out their tasks successfully. Ground services functioned well and operatively. Cargoes have been delivered as scheduled,” he said.
Earlier, chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said, “Equipment to transport chemical weapons has been sent to Syria. This is our contribution to strengthening security and peace in Syria and the Middle East.”
“The personnel of military transport aircraft showed professionalism,” Gerasimov said.
In 2013, military transport aircraft solved many problems. “It took part in surprise checks and providing aid to the population, which was hit by natural calamities. It always coped with the tasks,” he said.
This year “the Defense Ministry leadership riveted special attention to the Air Force. It got over 200 modern aircraft and helicopters”, the chief of Russia’s General Staff said.