20 March 2014 - The OPCW-UN Joint Mission has verified the delivery of another consignment of Priority 1 chemicals today to Latakia and their removal from the port on a cargo ship, raising the amount of Syrian chemicals that are now out of the country to nearly half of the total stockpile.
The confirmation came on the heels of an announcement late yesterday by the Joint Mission of two other consignments of chemicals that were delivered to Latakia and removed during the past week. A total of 11 consignments of chemicals have now been transported out of Syria for destruction outside the country. The updated cumulative figures are as follow:
Priority 1 chemicals removed: 34.8 %*
Priority 2 chemicals removed: 82.6 %
Total chemicals removed: 49.3 %
When all of the Syrian chemicals from all storage sites have been loaded aboard the Danish and Norwegian cargo ships, they will be transported to various locations for destruction under the verification of OPCW inspectors.
The majority of Priority 1 chemicals will be neutralised at sea aboard the U.S. vessel MV Cape Ray, while a smaller amount will be neutralised at a land-based facility in Ellesmere Port, UK.
The Priority 2 chemicals will be destroyed at commercial facilities in the U.S. and Finland. A facility in Germany will dispose of part of the effluent from the Cape Ray operations.
As the removal process continues, a team of OPCW experts is currently in Syria to facilitate the formulation of a plan to destroy certain structures that housed Syria’s chemical weapons production facilities. The Executive Council is expected to consider the plan at its next meeting.
The deadline for completing the destruction of Syria’s entire chemical weapons programme is 30 June 2014.
* Includes all sulfur mustard, the only unitary chemical warfare agent in Syria’s arsenal
Source: OPCW website