[QODLink]
Middle East

US begins to destroy Syria's chemical weapons

US vessel Cape Ray, located in the Mediterranean, starts 60-day process of neutralising materials including mustard gas.

Last updated: 08 Jul 2014 03:36
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The materials were transferred to the Cape Ray earlier in July from a vessel that brought them out of Syria [AP]

The US container ship Cape Ray has started to neutralise chemical materials that were once part of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's weapons arsenal, the US Defence Department has said.

The ship, located in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, began processing about 600 metric tonnes of chemical weapons and the raw materials that could be used in them, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said on Monday,

The US government has said the materials include mustard gas and components for the nerve agent sarin.

The materials were transferred to the Cape Ray earlier in July from a vessel that brought them out of Syria, the Reuters news agency reported.

Assad agreed last year to turn over his chemical weapons stockpile as part of a disarmament deal.

Warren said it is expected that the ship will need 60 days to process the materials.

The Cape Ray is equipped with a hydrolysis system that uses substances like water, sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite to make chemical warfare agents safe enough to be disposed of at commercial sites.

Warren said the processed material would be transferred to Finland and Germany.

Washington and Moscow supported the agreement under which Assad surrendered Syria's chemical weapons after Damascus was accused of using them against civilians.

203

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.