Syria's chemical weapons destroyed

14:26, Aug 19 2014
Syria weapons
MISSION OF DESTRUCTION: The Danish ship Ark Futura (back), carrying a cargo of Syria's chemical weapons, passes the US ship Cape Ray (front) as it arrives at Gioia Tauro port in southern Italy.

The organisation charged with overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons programme says the most crucial part of its operation has been completed.

The Organization for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons said Tuesday that an operation carried out aboard US vessel Cape Ray has destroyed 581 metric tons of a precursor for sarin nerve gas, and 19.8 metric tons of mustard gas.

The toxicity of the chemicals was reduced by 99.9 per cent by a hydrolysis technique aboard the ship, and the resulting liquid will now be transported to Finland and Germany for final disposal.

OPCW experts ensured that none of the chemicals escaped into the sea, the agency's director-general Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement.

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AP