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U.S. vessel completes its destruction of Syrian chemicals: OPCW

Editor: Zhang Dan 丨Xinhua

08-19-2014 21:15 BJT

THE HAGUE, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. maritime vessel Cape Ray has completed destruction of its entire consignment of 600 metric tonnes of Category 1 chemicals from Syria, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced on Tuesday.

"This ends a crucial stage in the complex international maritime operation to remove and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile,” stated OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu.

"The Cape Ray’s consignment included the most dangerous chemicals in Syria’s arsenal: 581 metric tonnes of DF, a binary precursor for sarin gas, and 19.8 metric tonnes of ready-to-use sulfur mustard (HD),” the OPCW Director-General added.

“They were neutralized with two Field Deployable Hydrolysis Systems (FDHS) on the Cape Ray, which reduced their toxicity by 99.9 percent in line with the requirements of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Uzumcu added.

According to the chemical watchdog the operation was completed weeks ahead of the 60-day schedule that the United States had estimated.

The OPCW inspectors aboard the ship verified that no chemicals of any kind escaped into the sea or otherwise impacted the environment.

Six days ago the OPCW already announced that the United States completed all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas from Syria on the Cape Ray as well.

The OPCW now declared that the Cape Ray will transport the effluent from the hydrolysis operations to Finland and Germany, where it will be offloaded for disposal at land-based facilities.

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