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Syrian military forces repel attacks on chemical arms depots
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich says Syrian government has repelled attacks by foreign-backed militants against the chemical arms depots.
“The Syrian side reported that some of the chemical arms depots had been attacked. Fortunately, government forces managed to deter those attacks successfully,” Lukashevich said at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday.
He added that the ground transportation of “highly toxic chemicals continues amid the ongoing armed conflict in Syria and it is beset by many risks.”
On Wednesday, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said Damascus is committed to the destruction of its chemical weapons despite difficulties caused by the conflict in the country.
He also reaffirmed that the Syrian government would fully turn over its chemical arms by June, as required by the deal brokered by the US and Russia last year.
Under the deal, agreed on September 14, 2013, Syria would see its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return not follow through planned military action against the country.
Nordic vessels are set to collect the chemicals from the port city of Latakia and take them to a port in Italy, where they will be loaded onto a US ship for annihilation.
The US administration has accused the Syrian government of dragging its feet in the effort to eliminate the chemical weapons stockpile.
Russia has rejected the charges by Washington, saying a June 30 deadline to destroy Syria’s arsenal of toxic agents remains viable despite delays.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that the delays are due to security problems on the road to Latakia and insufficient technical support.