Russian Battleships to Escort Syrian Chemical Weapons: Military Source

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russia’s naval joint force in the Mediterranean will be escorting ships with chemical weapons once they leave Syria, said a top official at the Russian Chief of Staff, according to the RIA news agency.

Russian Battleships to Escort Syrian Chemical Weapons: Military Source

According to the latest reports, Russia’s task force in the Mediterranean consists of five battleships: the nuclear-powered missile cruiser, ‘Pyotr Veliky’, the missile destroyer ‘Smetlivy’ and three large landing craft carriers, ‘Yamal,’ ‘Filchenkov,’ and ‘Pobeditel.’

"The decision to provide a ship for the precise task will be taken later, on the basis of the tactical situation in the Mediterranean Sea. This decision will be made by the head of the General Staff after a report from the chief commander of Russia's Navy," the military official told RIA.

Earlier, the UN mission supervising the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal expressed concern over security risks posed by the continued fighting in Syria.

Just days ago there was a report about fighting between Syrian government troops and militants from the Al-Nusra Front and the Army of Islam going on “just 100 meters away” from a chemical facility in the Sukkari neighborhood in the Homs Governorate.

The chemical weapons will be removed from warehouses and military installations using Russian armored vehicles, RT reported.

Russia has already delivered 75 armored trucks to Syria, along with other equipment that will be employed in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Monday.

The cargoes also included water reservoirs, field kitchens, tents and other things the troops in Syria will need during the operation.

It has been reported that roughly 1,290 metric tons of hazardous materials are going to be destroyed in international waters on board an American ship, the MV Cape Ray, which right now is docked in Portsmouth being fitted with two special chemical weapons neutralization systems.

As early as January 3, the vessel is expected to head for the Mediterranean to start the neutralization process.

The Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons approved a plan for complete disarmament of the Syrian arsenal last month. The most dangerous components are to be removed from the country by the end of the year. Facilities, which were part of production and storage of chemical weapons are to be destroyed by mid-March 2014.

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