Koblentz on Syrian Chemical Weapons Destruction

Dr. Koblentz was quoted in a Voice of America article on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons.

From Voice of America, OPCW Plan for Destroying Syrian Chemical Weapons Complex, Chancy –  “Gregory Koblentz, Deputy Director of the Biodefense Program at Virginia’s George Mason University, says the initial phase of the plan involves transporting the chemicals overland across Syria. ‘The chemicals are going to be packaged in Syria and then shipped overland to the city of Latakia, which is a major port on the Mediterranean,’ Koblentz said. ‘And then the chemicals will be picked up by Norwegian and Danish ships, which will then transport them to Italy.’ There, the chemicals will be loaded on an American ship which has been outfitted with equipment to neutralize the chemicals. Koblentz says that while the first stage of the plan is risky because it involves transporting chemicals across a country at war, he is optimistic the chemicals will make it to Latakia securely. ‘Up until now, there’ve not been any significant reports that the conflict has interfered with the consolidation of the chemicals and the OPCW’s actions on the ground,’ Koblentz said. ‘So while the route from Damascus to Latakia might be somewhat troublesome, the rebels so far have cooperated with the OPCW, and it’s in their interest to have these chemicals to get out of the country.'”

(image: DoD photo by Navy Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Kristopher Wilson)

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