The United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office has announced that 190 metric tonnes of chemicals from the Syrian Arab Republic have been destroyed at a commercial facility in Ellesmere Port. The OPCW meanwhile confirmed today that 74.2% of Syria’s entire stockpile of chemicals has now been destroyed.
The UK Government agreed to take responsibility for destroying the chemicals as part of the international mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme. The destroyed chemicals, mainly “B precursors” for making nerve agent and a small quantity of hydrochloric acid, constituted about 15% of the stockpile that was removed from Syria for destruction outside the country. They were incinerated at a commercial facility operated by Veolia at Ellesmere Port with funding provided by the UK Government, under verification by OPCW inspectors.
The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, expressed his appreciation for the UK’s contributions to the international mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme, and for completing the destruction work in a safe and environmentally clean manner.
Operations to destroy the remaining stockpile continue at land-based commercial facilities in Finland and the United States, and onboard the U.S. Maritime Vessel Cape Ray in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Effluent from hydrolysis operations on the Cape Ray will afterwards be destroyed in Finland and at a facility in Germany.