The US Navy has begun an operation to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons in international waters and expected to take two months, the Pentagon announced yesterday.
Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steven Warren said the “neutralisation process of Syria’s chemical weapons began on board US Navy carrier Cape Ray in international waters in the Mediterranean after the completion of transfer of 600 tonnes of chemicals in a southern Italian port last week.”
Warren told reporters, “we expect neutralisation to take approximately 60 days”, however this is dependent on weather conditions.
Cape Ray carried portable facilities capable of destroying the most dangerous chemicals.
The process allows breaking down more than 99 per cent of the material and reducing their toxicity to levels similar to those commonly used in the industry. The resulting material will be transferred to companies specialised in treating industrial waste.
The Syrian authorities agreed to transfer its chemical weapons arsenal for destruction after its accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention in October 2013 within an agreement to avoid US military intervention in Syria in response to an attack using Sarin gas against civilians which left 1,400 dead.
U.S. authorities confirm the destruction process is safe and that it had taken necessary measures to ensure that. The Cape Ray ship carries a crew of 35 people and 63 specialists in the destruction process.