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Syria’s twelve chemical facilities to be eliminated soon — diplomat

November 21, 2014, 15:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The remaining issues related to Syria’s military chemical program are settled or close to being settled
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© EPA/PHILIPP SCHULZE

MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Twelve former chemical facilities will be eliminated in the near future, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday.

“Due to the political efforts and the practical work at different levels, we face the situation when in essence the remaining issues related to Syria’s military chemical program are settled or close to being settled,” Ryabkov said.

“There are questions on the so-called primary declaration by Syria about its chemical stockpiles and its military chemical potential. The work on this continues. We maintain cooperation with the USA and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” he said.

Islamic State militants use chemical weapons in Syria

In early November there were reports of the Islamic State militants using chemical weapons in Syria. Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said the radical terrorist group launched a chemical attack on the Syrian city of Kobani. The Islamic State attacked the city with shells filled with an incendiary chemical agent, causing civilian casualties, the diplomat said.

Double standards in matters related to chemical weapons

Russian diplomats have repeatedly urged the United States to consider how harmful double standards are in matters related to chemical weapons in the Middle East. In a statement late October the Russian Foreign Ministry compared the Middle East to a testing site for terrorists to practice skills in synthesizing, producing and using chemical warfare agents.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov voiced his concern over chemical weapons in Libya going out of control. He said the country is out of control, and the risk of losing control over chemical weapons remains. “We talked about that long ago, when NATO’s bombardments were still in progress. We kept warning that it was fraught with the proliferation of these weapons about the entire region of North Africa. Now it has happened,” Gatilov recalled. “Some have been moved to Mali to end up in the hands of terrorists, and others were smuggled to Syria.”

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