U.S. Offers to Help Destroy Some of Syria’s Chemical Weapons

A White House National Security Council spokeswoman said the United States believes it can meet the OPCW’s deadlines.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu briefs jounalists on the progression in the disarmament of Syria's chemical arsenal and facilites on October 9, 2013 in The Hague. Uzumcu called for temporary ceasefires in Syria's raging civil war in order to meet tight disarmament deadlines. The OPCW has been charged with dismantling Syria's chemical arsenal and facilities by mid-2014 under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution drawn up after devastating nerve gas attacks in August. AFP PHOTO / ANP / MARTIJN BEEKMAN **NETHERLANDS OUT** (Photo credit should read Martijn Beekman/AFP/Getty Images)
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Jordain Carney
Dec. 2, 2013, 3:28 a.m.

A De­fense of­fi­cial told Re­u­ters that the United States is pre­par­ing a ship, the MV Cape Ray, to help des­troy some of Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al weapons at sea. The ship will be used if the U.S. gov­ern­ment is asked to help.

The Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapon an­nounced last week that the United States “has offered to con­trib­ute a de­struc­tion tech­no­logy, full op­er­a­tion­al sup­port and fin­an­cing to neut­ral­ize Syr­ia’s pri­or­ity chem­ic­als.” Most of Syr­ia’s “pri­or­ity chem­ic­als” are ex­pec­ted to be re­moved by the end of Decem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the OP­CW.

Caitlin Hay­den, a spokes­wo­man for the White House Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil, said the United States has “offered and are cur­rently out­fit­ting a U.S. ves­sel with field de­ploy­able hy­dro­lys­is sys­tem tech­no­logy to sup­port the OP­CW’s ef­forts.”

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