U.S. ships complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons
The Ark Futura, a Danish-chartered cargo vessel which is assisting in the effort to extract Syrian chemical weapons from the country (File/AFP)
Click here to add Barack Obama as an alert
Disable alert for Barack Obama,
Click here to add Bashar al-Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar al-Assad,
Click here to add Chuck Hagel as an alert
Disable alert for Chuck Hagel,
Click here to add Damascus as an alert
Disable alert for Damascus,
Click here to add Pentagon as an alert
Disable alert for Pentagon,
Click here to add Rear Adm. John Kirby as an alert
Disable alert for Rear Adm. John Kirby,
Click here to add Washington as an alert
Disable alert for Washington
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said on Monday that the crew on the American ship, USS Cape Ray, finished the work.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called the captain of the American ship to “congratulate the ship’s crew on finishing their unprecedented work.”
According to the Pentagon, the USS Cape Ray, equipped with the US-developed Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, neutralized 581.5 metric tons of DF, a sarin precursor chemical, and 19.8 metric tons of HD, an ingredient of sulfur mustard, while on the sea.
The ship will travel to Finland and Germany in the next two weeks to unload the resulting effluent, a Pentagon spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama hailed the completion of the annihilation of the Syrian chemical weapon stockpile.
“Going forward, we will watch closely to see that Syria fulfills its commitment to destroy its remaining declared chemical weapons production facilities,” Obama said.
Last September, Russia and the US agreed on a deal under which Syria would have its chemical weapons eliminated and Washington would in return not carry out planned strikes on the Arab country.
The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, on August 21, 2013.
Damascus vehemently denied the accusation, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and, Turkey - are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.