The Defense Department has offered the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
a technological solution to help neutralize Syria’s chemical weapon stockpile
by the end of the year, a senior defense official announced last week. The
hydrolysis system would mix bulk liquid storage of Syrian mustard gas with water and sodium hypochlorite bleach to
produce a very low-level waste that can safely be shipped, according to a Dec.
“Last winter, (then)-Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter directed
Undersecretary Frank Kendall to chair a senior integration group to look at
technologies that could be applied to the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile
because we knew at some point the international community would need
capabilities to destroy the stockpile,” said the official, who spoke to
reporters on background. Since then, DOD has “fully-fabricated” three units,
two of which will be mounted below the deck of the Cape Ray—a vessel owned by
the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, states the release.
If OPCW agrees, the ship will be used for neutralization operations next year. “We
remain on track to destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons,” said Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel during a speech at the Manama Dialogue security
conference in Bahrain on Dec. 7. (See also Senior
NSC Official Touts Progress with Syrian Chemical Weapons)(DOD report on
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