Live updates

Ship loaded with Syrian chemical weapons docks in Italy

A container from the Danish vessel Ark Futura is forklifted to be placed onto a truck which will drive into the U.S.-owned MV Cape Ray. Credit: PA Images

A Danish ship carrying hundreds of tons of chemical weapons from Syria has arrived at a port in southern Italy.

The Ark Futura will rendezvous with a US-owned cargo vessel that will destroy the highly toxic material at sea.


Chlorine attacks 'could be seen elsewhere'

The use of chlorine against Syrian civilians could lead to similar attacks elsewhere in the world, a scientist at the heart of new revelations into chemical weapons use has found.

Hamish De Bretton-Gordon - a British chemical scientist involved in testing samples from recent attacks for the Telegraph - said that such incidents could have a major "psychological impact".

'Chemical attacks' took place in western Syria

Samples were taken from suspected attacks in Talmenes and Kafr Zita earlier this month. Credit: Google Maps

Chlorine and ammonia is suspected to have been used during helicopter attacks in two urban areas in the west of Syria.

An investigation by the Telegraph tested samples from two separate gas attacks in the city of Kafr Zita, and one other in the village of Talmenes.

Scientific analysis of samples from the attacks - which all took place this month and injured several women and children - showed evidence of chlorine and ammonia use, the newspaper says.

Chemicals expert: Chlorine attacks 'easy to identify'

A chemical weapons expert involved in the apparent discovery of continued chemical weapons attacks in Syria told ITV News earlier this week that chlorine use is "simple to identify".

Hamish De Bretton-Gordon told Diplomatic Correspondent John Ray that Syrians should be armed with information on how to identify such attacks.

He added, however: "It's very, very non-persistent - once it's released it will remain active for, at the most, minutes.

"If there is a strong wind and if it is hot as it is in Syria it will disappear very quickly."

Chemicals watchdog to investigate Syria claims

The international chemicals watchdog is to investigate claims surrounding the alleged use of chlorine by the Syrian government against its citizens.

The mission, which is set to depart "soon", has been agreed to by the Syrian government, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement.


Syria 'still using chemical weapons on civilians'

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Credit: Instagram/syrianpresidency

Syria is still using chemical weapons against its own people, scientific analysis carried out for the Telegraph has claimed.

The newspaper says soil samples taken from the scene of three recent gas attacks "show sizeable and unambiguous traces of chlorine and ammonia present at the site of all three".

International protocol bars nations from using "asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases" during war.

Chemical weapons watchdog to send a team to Syria

The international chemical weapons watchdog has announced a new fact-finding mission to Syria. The OPCW experts will investigate allegations of use of chlorine in the country.

U.N. chemical weapons experts (file photo) Credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah

The Syrian government has agreed to accept this mission and has undertaken to provide security in areas under its control, OPCW said in a statement.

The mission will carry out its work in the most challenging circumstances.

Syria removes 80% of chemical weapons

Syria has removed or destroyed 80% of its chemical weapons and is on target to hit its June deadline for full removal, said the United Nations.

Syria has removed or destroyed 80% of its chemical weapons in-country, says the UN's special co-ordinator Credit: REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

Syria has destroyed empty mustard gas containers and "made progress" closing chemical weapons production and storage sites, said the UN.

Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, said she expected further meetings with Syrian officials would keep removal efforts moving up to the 30 June target.

Load more updates