U.S. Navy Will Convert a Ship into a Floating Chemical Weapons Disposal

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The U.S. Navy has offered to convert one of its ships into a floating chemical weapons disposal, according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the watchdog responsible for policing Syria's disposal progress. 

The as-yet-unidentified ship offer ends a weeks-long, agonizing search for a place to dispose of the embattled country's 1,300 tons of chemical weapons. The BBC first reported the dismantling would be handled at sea, and said the MV Cape Ray, a U.S. Navy cargo ship, was the likely choice. Now they just have to find a Mediterranean port where the Cape Ray can park itself and perform the process, called hydrolysis, required to destroy the weapons.

Syria has, so far, cooperated fully with the international agreement to get rid of its chemical weapons supply, which gives the country until December 31 to complete the job. This week OPCW denied a request from Syria to convert some of its chemical weapons facilities for other functions.

 The watchdog searched high and low for a country to volunteer their services to host the weapons once they're removed from Syria, and to handle their destruction. Even Albania said no thank you.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.