By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, July 25, 2014 – Teams aboard the U.S. ship MV Cape Ray continue to neutralize materials from Syria’s declared chemical stockpile, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.
Warren told reporters the teams had used the installed field deployable hydrolysis system to destroy 411 tons of chemicals as of July 21.
“As of this morning, the crews neutralized over 25 percent of the DF [or methylphosphonyl difluoride], which is a sarin precursor,” the colonel said, adding the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has verified the amount.
Warren showed reporters an OCPW pie chart indicating two chemical classifications: Category 1 chemicals, which have little or no peaceful use and were removed from Syria for destruction outside of the country, as well as isoproponol, and Category 2, which includes other toxic chemicals and other chemical agents outside of Category 1.
The chart showed that as of July 21, 36.6 percent, or 380.1 of the 1038.5 metric tons of declared Category 1 chemical materials, had been destroyed, as well as 12.4 percent, or 31.5 of 254.17 declared metric tons of Category 2 chemical materials.
Joint teams from the OPCW and the United Nations began securing Syrian chemical sites in early October, and the Syrian government gave up the last of its declared chemical stockpiles June 23. The Cape Ray was modified and deployed to the eastern Mediterranean to dispose of the chemical agents in accordance with terms Syria agreed to late last year.