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Chemical Weapons

WORLD
December 9, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian government forces have regained control of a strategic town along the nation's major north-south highway, state media reported Monday, as troops advanced in a sweeping offensive designed to secure the route and sever opposition supply lines from nearby Lebanon. The dangerous highway is expected to be used as a corridor for the transport of Syria's toxic stockpiles as part of a United Nations-backed plan to rid the country of its chemical armaments. State news outlets reported that government forces had established “full control” of Nabek, about 50 miles northeast of Damascus along the highway, which links the capital to the central city of Homs.
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WORLD
December 5, 2013 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is outfitting a 647-foot cargo ship with high-tech equipment in an effort to safely destroy hundreds of tons of lethal chemical weapons agents that were collected in Syria after a deadly gas attack this summer sparked an international outcry. Two specially developed hydrolysis machines, which use water or bleach to neutralize the chemicals that produce nerve gases, have been installed aboard the Cape Ray at the U.S. naval base in Norfolk, Va., officials said Thursday.
WORLD
November 21, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
The international agency tasked with locating and destroying Syria's chemical weapons said Thursday it was calling for help from private industry in neutralizing 1,000 metric tons of chemicals and munitions after U.S. ally Albania balked at hosting the operation. In a report on its "detailed plan of destruction" approved Thursday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons laid out its prioritized destruction schedule under which the most dangerous chemical arms and substances -- already removed from the country -- will be rendered harmless and buried in secure waste sites.
WORLD
November 15, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON - Despite pressure from the Obama administration, Albania's prime minister said Friday that he would not allow the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in the European country. Prime Minister Edi Rama surprised some Western officials by saying in a televised address that it was "impossible" to take on the job of dismantling Syrian President Bashar Assad's toxic arsenal because "we lack the necessary capacities to get involved in this operation. " Rama bowed to growing protests in the small Balkan nation, where activists have opposed being the host country for the costly and complex process of neutralizing Syria's weapons, because of concern over toxic waste.
WORLD
October 27, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
GAZIANTEP, Turkey - The Syrian government has met an international deadline to submit a detailed declaration of its chemical weapons facilities and a plan to destroy the nation's toxic arsenal, the group overseeing the disarmament process said Sunday. Syria had until Sunday to present its declaration and the related proposal for destruction to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Hague-based organization supervising the elimination of Syria's chemical stockpiles.
WORLD
October 26, 2013 | By Paul Richter and Sergei L. Loiko
WASHINGTON - As the U.S. presses for a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, it is getting help from an unlikely ally: Russia. Relations between the two countries have tumbled to a low point this year because of a dispute over Moscow's decision to grant temporary asylum to former National Security Agency contractor and leaker Edward Snowden and long-standing friction between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Analysts say neither side views repairing the overall relationship as a top priority.
WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON -- International inspectors expect to destroy Syria's ability to produce new chemical weapons by Nov. 1, the first major deadline in the United Nations-ordered disarmament of the country's entire chemical arsenal, officials said Wednesday. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the watchdog group overseeing the disarmament effort, said equipment used to produce or mix toxic gases and nerve agents has been destroyed at almost all of the declared facilities inside Syria.
WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON - International inspectors expect to destroy Syria's ability to produce new chemical weapons by Nov. 1, the first major deadline in the United Nations-ordered disarmament of Syria's chemical arsenal, officials said Wednesday. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the watchdog group overseeing the disarmament, said equipment used to produce or mix toxic gases and nerve agents has been destroyed at almost all of the declared facilities in Syria. OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan said Syrian authorities continued to provide "complete" cooperation to its team of 27 inspectors, and that the group was confident of achieving the first major milestone in the disarmament plan before the deadline.
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