Battle near Syrian Chemical Facility Endangers Disarmament Process

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A heated battle is underway just meters away from a chemical facility in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry warned, accusing the rebels of attempts to hamper international efforts to dispose of the deadly weapons.

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“The fighting between the Syrian government troops and militants from the Al-Nusra Front and the Army of Islam goes on just about 100 meters away from a chemical facility in Sukkari neighborhood in Homs Governorate,” the statement by the Foreign Ministry said.

The endangered facility is used to store chemical agents due to be moved and utilized outside Syria as part of the international plan to destroy the chemical arsenals of President Bashar Assad, the statement stressed.

According to the ministry, the joint mission of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and United Nations in Damascus has already been notified of the events in Sukkari by the Syrian authorities, RT reported.

“Moscow is deeply concerned by those reports. We strongly condemn the provocative actions aimed at disrupting the schedule of disposal of toxic substances and their precursors from Syria,” the statement said.

Russia has urged all international players with influence over the anti-government armed groups in the country to put pressure on them in order to create the “necessary conditions for the successful implementation of the process of Syrian chemical disarmament.”

The Foreign Ministry pointed out the involvement of the Army of Islam militant group, which is part of the Islamic Front, in the Sukkari neighborhood fighting.

“Some of our partners in the Syrian settlement process labeled the group as ‘moderate’ forces, saying that they may well participate in the Geneva 2 International Peace Conference,” the statement said. “But the participation of Army of Islam fighters together with Al-Nusra Front in battle with government forces near Homs convincingly suggests what these ‘moderate’ militants really are.”

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