Western powers turn down Assad regime request for military equipment
A picture taken on November 7, 2013, shows a pro-regime tank driving through the streets of Sbeineh south of Syrian capital Damascus. (Image credit: AFP)
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Western powers will turn down a request by President Assad’s regime for military transport material to ship out chemical weapons.
Reuters reports that the Assad regime had asked for dozens of armored vehicles, generators and field kitchens among gear, in addition to communications links that it said would help secure the road during transport of materials. The regime said that it needed the equipment to move 1,300 tons of chemicals to the Mediterranean port of Latakia in order to remain complaint to a UN backed resolution to rid Syria of chemical arms.
“There is no way that the regime will be supplied with equipment that could be used by the army to kill more innocent Syrians,” Reuters quoted a diplomat from a government with veto powers at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
It is unclear at this stage if the refusal to supply the requested equipment would hold up disarmament. Reuters quoted another diplomat as saying that Western governments could consider supplying Syria with alternate equipment such as flatbed trucks.
However, the Assad regime could still turn to Russia to secure the equipment it has said it needs to rid the country of chemical weapons.
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