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U.S. Destroys Syria’s Chemical Weapons

Cite this: Chem. Eng. News 2014, 92, 51, 27
Publication Date (Print):December 22, 2014
https://doi.org/10.1021/cen-09251-cover31
Copyright © 2014 Chemical & Engineering News
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    Abstract

    In an unprecedented seaborne operation, U.S. military and civilian engineers successfully neutralized the deadliest components of Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile this summer aboard a government cargo ship. While sailing in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, the crew eliminated 581.5 metric tons of methylphosphonyl difluoride, a chemical used to make the nerve agent sarin, and 19.8 tons of liquid sulfur mustard, a blistering agent. The mission began after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed in September 2013 to a United Nations-led disarmament plan. The U.S. had threatened air strikes after Western leaders blamed the Assad regime for a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb the previous month. The plan for destruction at sea was hatched after experts concluded that neutralizing the agents in a country engulfed in civil war was impractical. When several European nations refused to accept the chemicals for destruction, the U.S. offered a specially retrofitted ...

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