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calendar   Friday - August 15, 2014

Syrian WMD Destroyed

Hey, remember Syria?

Remember how there’s this massive civil war going on there, with tens of thousands of casualties, all sorts of horrific war crimes being done by both sides, Obama’s Red Lines, and Syria’s “possible” use of poison gas? Remember how the whole world, with the help of the Russians, was going to neutralize the stockpiles of Assad’s chemical weapons? (the ones that didn’t come from Saddam Hussein, wink wink, nudge nudge??)



Well, progress is being made. At sea. So far, 581 tons of precursor chemicals used to make mustard gas have been destroyed. ( OMG. Can you imagine the size of the killing field that nearly 600 tons of poison gas would make?? ) Under the watchful eye of a multinational naval task force that includes the British frigate HMS Montrose, several Scandinavian cargo ships have shuttled the evil stuff to the American ship MV Cape Ray. Cape Ray is a 650’, 37 year old RO/RO container ship, now owned by the US Navy and currently modified as a chemical disposal factory, and is doing the job at a well guarded and undisclosed location somewhere at sea in the Mediterranean. 

And those 581 tons? That’s not even 75% of the overall stockpile. The Cape Ray has 269 shipping containers full of the crap on board. But progress is being made, and the story of putting a chemical hydrolysis plant on a ship and getting it halfway round the world is actually quite heroic.

image

MV Cape Ray

[ April 10, 2014 ] The MV Cape Ray left for the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro to retrieve an estimated 560 tons of mustard blister agent and other materials extracted from Syria’s war-fractured territory. The move took place two days after President Bashar Assad’s regime delivered the last of its declared chemical-warfare stockpile into international custody, enabling the commencement of a destruction operation slated to take place in the Mediterranean Sea.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2014 – Specialists on the U.S. container ship M/V Cape Ray continue their work in the Mediterranean Sea, neutralizing chemical materials from Syria and contributing to what the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, on August 7 confirmed as the destruction of 74.2 percent of Syria’s chemical stockpile.

U.S. military and civilian specialists aboard the ship began using the field deployable hydrolysis system to neutralize Syrian chemical materials on July 7, Director of Pentagon Press Operations Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters at the time, anticipating that it would take about 60 days to complete the job.

On August 5 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground-Edgewood Team CBRNE capabilities showcase, Adam Baker, a chemical engineer and project manager with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, detailed the hard work that went into turning a land-based hydrolysis system into a field-deployable system in just five months.

“We had a gap in capabilities for a system that was transportable, that could be operated out of a remote location and that would [process] bulk liquid agent at high throughputs.”

The system had to be able to be transported to a remote site and set up and be sufficient with a supply of reagents and diesel fuel, Baker explained. The project was given the go-ahead in February 2013. In November 2013, he said, “That’s when they made the decision to start putting it on the Cape Ray.”

The timeline was short, Baker said, and they couldn’t start from scratch with a new system, so they used a process from the former Aberdeen Chemical Demilitarization Facility, or ABCDF, that had been used a decade ago to neutralize 1,700 tons of mustard – part of the destruction of the United States’ own chemical stockpile.

The entire Syrian stockpile of precursors required to make sarin gas has been destroyed by US experts on board a US neutralizer ship, Pentagon officials have confirmed.

“I am pleased to announce that the crew aboard Cape Ray has completed neutralization of 100 percent of the sarin precursor aboard the ship, which amounts to about 581 metric tons neutralized,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said.

Warren added the Cape Ray crew are now in the process of neutralizing 19.8 tons of sulfur mustard and should be completed by the end of August.

Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons through a US-Russia brokered deal last September. The decision was sparked by a deadly sarin gas attack in August 21 near Damascus that killed hundreds of people. The West blamed President Bashar Assad forces for it, while Damascus accused the rebels of committing that terror act as a provocation.



So, some good news for a change. Go Navy.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/15/2014 at 12:02 PM   
Filed Under: • InsanityInternationalMiddle-East •  
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