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Berlin to send frigate to help destroy Syrian chemical weapons

The German government agreed on Wednesday to send a frigate to take part in an international mission in the Mediterranean Sea to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. Up to 300 German soldiers will take part in the deployment to help protect the US vessel, MV Cape Ray, aboard which the weapons will be broken down at sea using hydrolysis. The German mandate runs until December at the latest and must be approved by the Bundestag lower house of parliament where the left-right "grand coalition" has an overwhelming majority.

Syria has almost zero chemical arms potential: Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Syrian government has reduced its chemical weapons potential close to zero, state-run RIA news agency quoted an unnamed official at the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying on Friday. "Chemical weapons production facilities, equipment for mixing (chemicals) and operating (the weapons), as well as the means of their delivery have been destroyed," the official said, adding that the only gas that had been ready for use in weaponry had been completely removed from the country.

Over half Syria's chemical arms surrendered

Syria has surrendered more than half of its chemical weapons arsenal, the joint mission overseeing the dismantling of the banned stockpile said on Thursday. "As of today 53.6 percent of the Syrian Arab Republic's chemical weapons material has been removed from or destroyed in the Syrian Arab Republic," the joint mission said. The mission of the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the milestone represented "important progress."

Half of Syrian chemical weapons shipped out: monitors

By Dominic Evans BEIRUT (Reuters) - More than half of Syria's declared chemical weapons arsenal has been shipped out or destroyed within the country, the head of the international team overseeing the disarmament process said on Thursday. Sigrid Kaag, head of the joint mission of the United Nations and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said 54 percent of the toxins had been removed or eliminated.

Syria says two attempted attacks on chemical weapons convoys: U.N.

By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - There were two attempted attacks on Syrian convoys transporting chemical weapons late last month, Syrian authorities told the international mission overseeing the removal and destruction of its toxic arsenal, according to a U.N. report on Thursday.

Syria chemical shipment plan faces major delay

Syria has told an international chemical watchdog that the completion of an ongoing program to ship chemical materials out of the country could be delayed several months, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday. Syria may miss the June 30 deadline to eliminate its entire chemical weapons under the program which is already running behind schedule, according to the source. The project is supervised by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Syria chemical shipment plan faces major delay

Syria has told an international chemical watchdog that the completion of an ongoing program to ship chemical materials out of the country could be delayed several months, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday. Syria may miss the June 30 deadline to eliminate its entire chemical weapons under the program which is already running behind schedule, according to the source. The project is supervised by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Denmark 'cautiously optimistic' over Syria chemical weapons

Denmark's premier, whose country is a key player in an international operation to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal, said Wednesday she was "cautiously optimistic" the timetable for doing so will be met. Helle Thorning-Schmidt was speaking during a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades aboard the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare, which is escorting Syrian chemical weapons shipments and is operating out of nearby Cyprus.

Myanmar journalists on trial for reporting alleged chemical weapons factory

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar police have charged five journalists with "disclosing state secrets" after their newspaper carried a story about an alleged chemical weapons factory, state media reported Sunday. The trial of four reporters and the head of Unity Journal began on February 14 in Pakokku, a town in the country's central region where the military facility is located, the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

Syria ships out third load of chemical weapon materials

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria shipped out a third consignment of chemical weapons materials on Monday and has also destroyed some materials on its territory, the international mission overseeing the elimination of its chemical arsenal said. Syria has already slipped more than a month behind schedule for the removal of its chemical weapons, agreed after a chemical weapons attack in Damascus six months ago. Western diplomats said the Syrians would need to make a shipment every two days to get back on schedule.
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