Syrian weapon chemicals 'destroyed' in Cheshire

A consignment of chemicals transported to the UK as part of an agreement to dismantle Syrian weapons has been destroyed.

The chemicals arrived at Southampton on July 15 before transportation to Cheshire for incineration.

Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Tobias Ellwood, said the destruction had now been completed.

A stockpile of "B precursors" and 44 tonnes of hydrochloric acid were disposed of at Ellesmere Port.

'Gaps and inconsistencies'

Mr Ellwood said: "By destroying these chemicals, the United Kingdom has played its part in the international effort to ensure that Assad's chemical weapons can never again be used against the Syrian people.

"Completing destruction of the declared stockpile does not mark the closure of the chemical weapons chapter.

"Gaps and inconsistencies in Syria's declaration need to be resolved."

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The Syria chemicals:

•50 tonnes of Grade B precursors (components for poison gas including Sarin but only lethal when combined with the right amount of other chemicals)

•44 tonnes of hydrochloric acid

•Six tonnes of hydrogen fluoride to be destroyed later this year

Waste management company Veolia and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the material comprised of "precursor chemicals" that "are handled and destroyed by industry on a routine basis".

Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile last year.

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