Strategic Highway secured by Syrian Forces

Syria forces secure strategic highway

Mon, 09 Dec 2013 13:22:53 GMT

Syrian government forces have taken control of a strategic highway which links the capital Damascus to the country’s north.

On Sunday, government troops succeeded in securing the highway, which passes through the mountainous area of Qalamoun and is an important route for the transport of Syria’s chemical arms.

The crisis in Syria has created an obstacle to the implementation of an agreement between Damascus and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to remove Syria’s chemical weapons.

On September 14, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal under which Syria would have its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return not carry out planned strikes on the Arab country.

The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of the capital Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said on Sunday that the transportation of Syria’s chemical arms out of the country could be delayed by a few days due to technical problems.

“But…a few days delay wouldn’t be much from my point of view,” he added.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

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