Wednesday, August 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Syria hands over last of declared chemical weapons

Sigrid Kaag

Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the UN speaks during an interview with Associated Press at a UN compound in the UN buffer zone in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday 23, 2014. Kaag said that “100 percent” of Syria’s chemical weapons material has been removed or destroyed inside the war-torn country, hailing the development that beat a June 30th deadline as a significant milestone for the people of Syria and the region. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

By
June 24, 2014 |

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Syria finished handing over to Western powers Monday the 1,300 tons of chemical weapons it acknowledged possessing, completing a deal reached last fall under threat of U.S. airstrikes.

The most dangerous material will be transferred to an American ship, which will move into international waters and use specialized equipment to destroy the chemicals over the next two months. Other material will be disposed of at toxic waste sites in various countries.

Questions persist over whether Syrian President Bashar Assad is hiding undeclared poison gases or attacking rebels with chlorine — a toxic industrial gas that is not specifically classified as a chemical weapon.

But politicians and activists hailed Monday’s milestone as a victory for international diplomacy, and, at the least, a clear reduction in the amount of chemicals available for use in Syria’s bloody civil war.

The news came amid extremely high tension across the Middle East, as Israel carried out retaliatory strikes on Syria and a Syrian cabinet member warned that Sunni insurgents in Iraq have been funneling weapons to rebels in Syria.

The material handed over by Syria included mustard gas and precursors to the nerve gas sarin.

Syria agreed to surrender its arsenal when the U.S. threatened missile strikes in retaliation for a chemical attack on a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. The attack is believed to have killed more than 1,000 people.

The deal was put together by the United States and Russia, which has been Assad’s most powerful international backer during the war.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the watchdog agency overseeing Syria’s disarmament, confirmed that the final 100 tons of chemicals had been loaded onto a Danish ship in the Syrian port of Latakia.

The completion of the task came nearly two months past the April 27 deadline set by the United Nations. The OPCW said that was because of security concerns amid the fighting.

“The last thing you want, of course, is when you’re dealing with chemical weapons elimination, that chemical weapons material falls into the wrong hands,” Sigrid Kaag, head of the joint U.N.-OPCW mission in Syria, said at the project’s staging ground in Cyprus.

Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the OPCW, acknowledged that Syria could still be hiding some of its arsenal.

“I can’t say … that Syria doesn’t have any chemical weapons anymore,” Uzumcu said.

But he said that that was true of any country that his organization works with. And he added that Syria’s declared arsenal was close to estimates made by outside experts.

He described the Syrian government’s overall cooperation as “satisfactory.”

Kaag said her team’s experts “are working closely with the Syrian Republic to look at any discrepancies or any revisions” in Syria’s declaration that need to be made.

Others applauded the move.

“To its great credit, the OPCW, the United Nations, the United States, Russia and a diverse coalition of more than two dozen states stepped up to the unprecedented task of verifiably removing a country’s entire chemical weapons stockpile under tight deadlines and wartime conditions,” said Daryl Kimball of the Washington-based Arms Control Association.

During a visit to Baghdad, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the step was significant step toward diminishing the threat of chemical warfare in the region.

But he warned that the use of chlorine gas remains a serious issue amid the three-year war in Syria that has claimed an estimated 160,000 lives.

“We are always going to remain truly appalled at the level of death and destruction that continues to consume Syria, notwithstanding the removal of these weapons,” he said.

An OPCW fact-finding mission last month found evidence that chlorine gas was used in fighting between rebels and Assad’s government. The OPCW stopped short of saying which side was to blame.

The use of any toxic material as a weapon is illegal under international law.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the removal of the chemicals “is further evidence that Syria adheres to its international commitments.”

Louay Safi, a senior member of the rebel Syrian National Coalition, said he is skeptical Syria has declared all its chemical weapons.

“We know that even after Syria signed the chemical weapons agreement it used chlorine,” he said.

Some of the handed-over chemicals will be transferred to the U.S.-owned ship MV Cape Ray, which has sophisticated machinery that will essentially use water to break down the toxic material into less dangerous substances.

Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, agreed the reduction in arms is a net positive but said now it will become more evident that the U.S. has few good options for helping resolve Syria’s complicated conflict.

“The war in Syria was never about chemical weapons. That was just one chapter of it, and it’s not completely closed,” he said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • rlw895June 24, 2014 - 12:20 am

    A milestone is reached. Now it's time for our local anti-Obamaites to tell us why Obama was wrong in whatever role he played in bringing it about.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • GregJune 24, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    LOL !!!! biggest laugh of the year.. all the chemical weapons declared gone...Ya RIGHT!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Memorial flight honors beloved Gordon Valley man

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Vacaville school board candidates sound off during forum

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Recology goes pink to trash cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Supervisors take no action in closed session

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

Curtola park-and-ride bill goes to governor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
City reaches milestone for train station project

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans advises Highway 12 delays likely

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

Sandy’s 101 Omlettes closes in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Man convicted of failing to register as sex offender

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 12 Comments | Gallery

 
DUI checkpoint nets arrests in Vacaville

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Library’s teen board to meet next week

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

South Solano Dems schedule candidates meet, greet

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Yippie job training program seeks applicants

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6

 
Geiger sworn in as Fairfield planning commissioner

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

Faith in Action puts out call for volunteers

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6

 
 
Love, a legend, come to theaters

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

How can authorities restore order in Ferguson?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
Holder brings his civil rights push to Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Strong DOJ response to Ferguson seeks truth, calm

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
As protests rage, Obama struggles to find his role

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Ferguson pledges outreach efforts after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Prison company pays $8 million in back wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Some evacuees of Yosemite-area fire can go home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Officials say Lake Tahoe imperiled by wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Committee approves higher pension calculations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Veteran rock climber killed in fall in Yosemite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Texas Gov. Perry booked on abuse of power charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
US officials: Video shows American’s beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

NY took quick precautions after in-custody death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
AP Exclusive: US changing no-fly list rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Tens of thousands march on Pakistan’s parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

No getting away from corruption in state government

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Editorial cartoons for Aug. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Serve and protect? Certainly not

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 21 Comments

 
Question of the week: Does school start too soon?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Government trying to steal rights

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 7 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Our daughter says she hates her mother and refuses to talk to us

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
10 Things: 10 fresh ways to dress corn on the cob

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Think beyond the slice with refreshing watermelon

By J.M. Hirsch | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Wife to bury Kasem in Norway, cites heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson set for DC Comics film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

49ers sign defensive lineman Dorsey to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers’ Dawson eager to get back out kicking after misses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rancho Solano women’s team vying for spot in nationals

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Veteran NBA ref Bavetta retires after 39 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders still waiting for Hayden to get healthy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

As Durant steps back, US team is moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Kluwe, Vikings reach settlement to avert lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Islanders announce sale of minority stake of club

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ohio State: Injured QB Miller done for the season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Past US Open champs Djokovic, Federer seeded 1-2 in U.S. Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Gibbs Racing hires Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis knows hoops, too

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Competition heats up for Tesla’s gigafactory

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

Stocks rise as US home construction rebounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
US home construction jumps 15.7 percent in July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
McDonald’s to sell packaged coffee nationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Consumer prices edge up 0.1 percent in July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Horace James Sam

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph ‘Joey’ Kenneth Meyers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Defrances Jean Freeman-Jefferson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Eddie Lee Staten

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

June Canaris-Heath

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A4

 
George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5