Russia: Extremists fight too close to Homs chemical site

Russia: Extremists fight too close to Homs chemical site
Fri Dec 20, 2013 22:21:23

Russia has warned over security of a chemical arms storage facility in central Syria saying that clashes between extremist militants and army forces were taking place only meters from the sensitive site.

“According to information coming from Syria, there are ongoing clashes between government forces and fighters from al-Nusra Front and Islamic Army in the Sukkari area, Homs province, literally 100 meters away from the chemical site where chemical agents destined to be shipped out of Syria and later destroyed are stockpiled,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website on Friday.

The ministry said that Moscow strongly condemned these “provocative acts,” which it said aimed at derailing a plan for shipping the chemical stockpile within the set deadline.

It also called on countries with influence on the armed Syrian opposition to press for the “creation of favorable conditions” to implement the plan.

A US-Russia deal for Syria to surrender its chemical arsenal averted US airstrikes on Syria and created hopes of a wider peace deal to end the Syria conflict.

The task of transporting Syria's chemical stockpile out of the country for destruction is to begin in January.

It will be the final phase of operations by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate the stockpile.

SHI/SHI

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