ROME Jan 10 The governor of the Italian region
of Sardinia warned Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Friday that he
would fight against allowing the transfer of Syria's chemical
weapons arsenal on the island, a statement said.
Italy agreed last month to allow the use of a port on its
territory for the handover of the deadly toxins that can be used
to make sarin, VX gas and other lethal agents. The government
has not yet said which port will be used.
Italian media reports had suggested the Sardinian ports of
Arbatax or Oristano as possible destinations. Other mooted
possibilities include the Sicilian port of Augusta or Brindisi
in the southern region of Puglia.
The transfer of chemicals aboard a Danish vessel to a
specially adapted U.S. ship, where they will be destroyed at
sea, is part of an international agreement spearheaded by Russia
in the wake of a chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus
that killed hundreds, including children, in late August.
"The regional government is warning the prime minister not
to allow the transit of Syrian chemical weapons in our ports or
on the island's territory," regional governor Ugo Cappellacci
told Letta, according to a statement.
If the government chooses the island for the chemical
transfer, Cappellacci said he would take "political and
judicial" action to fight it, the statement said.
Syria's 2-1/2-year civil war has killed at least 125,835
people, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and
over 2 million refugees have fled, often overwhelming
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; editing by Ralph Boulton)