WASHINGTON, August 12 (RIA Novosti) – Military and civil experts on board of the US container ship MV Cape Ray successfully destroyed the entire stockpile of deadly sarin gas shipped out of Syria, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday.
A total of 581 tons of this nerve agent were liquidated, Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren said.
Now the team of experts from the US Defense Department is working to neutralize some 20 tons of chemical materials used to make sulfur mustard, another lethal gas, commonly referred to as mustard gas.
Two shipboard field deployable hydrolysis systems, developed specifically for this mission, are used to neutralize the materials. The mission to destroy Syria’s chemical stockpile began in July under the aegis of UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It is expected to run until the end of August.
Once neutralized, the remaining byproducts will be processed by facilities in the United Kingdom, United States and Finland.
In October 2013, Syria agreed to Russia’s proposal to hand over its chemical arsenal. Some 1,300 tons of chemical weapons agents were transferred to international ships to be destroyed under the agreement. In return, the United States scrapped its plans of an airstrike against the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad, who Washington accused of using chemical weapons against civilians.