U.S. considers destroying Syrian chemical weapons in international waters
New York – The United States is considering plans to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles on a barge in international waters, according to senior officials.
The officials said that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would monitor the destruction, and it would be carried out following the safety standards set by legislation in the U.S. and the European Union, the New York Times reports.
The U.S. is reviewing two systems, the officials elaborated. The system intended to destroy the materials that are combined to form chemical munitions could be operational in 75 days.
The second proposal to destroy smaller arsenal of operational chemical weapons would go under a highly sophisticated mobile system developed by the Pentagon, known as the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, which is designed to convert chemical agents into compounds that cannot be used for military purposes by mixing them with water and other chemicals, the report added.
However, the officials did not elaborate on whether any chemical residue would be dumped in the ocean.
The U.S. has started considering seaborne options after Albania turned down an appeal to destroy the weapons on its territory.
Earlier, Norway had rejected the U.S. request, saying it did not have the expertise or the facilities to destroy the weapons.
The officials said that the decision of destroying the weapons in international waters would not require approval by any particular country, but environmental activists might voice their concerns.