The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Nation & World

December 20, 2013

UK to help destroy Syria's chemical stockpile

LONDON — The U.K. will help the international mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons program, officials said Friday, joining a complex operation with prominent roles for the U.S., Denmark and Norway.

Britain's Foreign Office said it has agreed to destroy 150 tons of two industrial-grade chemicals from Syria's stockpile at a commercial facility. The chemicals used in the pharmaceutical industry will be shipped to the U.K. before being transferred to a commercial site to be incinerated and destroyed, it said in a statement.

"It is important to stress that these are chemicals, not chemical weapons," the Foreign Office said, explaining that the two chemicals only become highly toxic when mixed to make a nerve agent.

The commitment adds another layer to the complex and unprecedented operation to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, which comes after the confirmed use of chemical weapons in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on Aug. 21 , which the U.S. government says killed 1,400 people. A number of questions remain about how Syria's chemical weapons arsenal will be destroyed, including what will be done with the material once it is rendered harmless.

The Foreign Office said the two chemicals would be removed from Syria separately, sealed in standard industrial containers to international standards and under the supervision of chemical weapons watchdogs.

Under the plan by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, chemicals will be transported from 12 storage sites to Latakia in Syria. Russia is providing armored trucks and other equipment to help transport them.

The chemicals will then be loaded onto Danish and Norwegian ships and shipped to an Italian port, where the most toxic chemicals — including materials used to make mustard gas and sarin — will be transferred to a U.S. ship for destruction at sea.

That ship — MV Cape Ray — is serving as the linchpin of the plan. The Cape Ray will have machinery that will neutralize the chemicals by mixing them with other chemicals and heated water.

Text Only
Nation & World
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium