US helps UN destroy Syria's chemical weapons

Updated: 2013-10-22 14:08


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WASHINGTON - The United States has provided 10 armored vehicles to the United Nations (UN) to support its efforts to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, the State Department said Monday.

The armored Chevrolet Suburbans, which worth $1.55 million, were flown to Lebanon on two separate flights on Thursday and Sunday and airlifted to Syria by Royal Canadian Air Force, according to the statement.

"With these vehicles, US assistance to Syrian chemical weapons elimination totals nearly 6 million dollars from the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (of the State Department) in financial and in-kind contributions to the UN and Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)," the statement added.

After the United States threatened to launch a military strike at Syria over the latter's alleged use of chemical weapons on August 21 outside Damascus, Syrian government accepted a deal reached in September by the United States and Russia on surrendering its chemical weapons to international control for destruction by mid-2014.

A team of OPCW experts have inspected 17 of more than 20 claimed sites of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles, and destroyed critical equipment at 14 sites so far. Despite the progress, OPCW experts said security remains a concern as they are working in this war-torn country.