NewsUSA destroy last chemical weapons stocks – DW – 08.07.2023

    USA destroy last chemical weapons stocks – DW – 08.07.2023

    US President Joe Biden said he was proud that the United States had destroyed the last chemical weapons ammunition in its arsenal. “This brings us one step closer to a world free from the horrors of chemical weapons,” Biden said in a written statement released by the White House.

    Chemical weapons are responsible for some of the world’s most horrifying human casualties, according to Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Minority Leader who has pushed for the elimination of these weapons. “Though the use of these deadly agents will always remain a blot on history, today our nation has finally fulfilled its pledge to rid our arsenal of this evil.” McConnell is a senator in the US state of Kentucky, where one of the weapons destruction facilities is located.

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    Destruction of US chemical weapons in Pueblo (in June): almost 40,000 tons left in arsenal in 1968Image: David Zalubowski/dpa/AP/picture alliance

    The last stockpiles of chemical weapons in the USA, which have now been rendered harmless, were stored in the US Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, and in the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) in Richmond, Kentucky. According to US information, the last M55 rocket containing the nerve agent VX was destroyed at the facility in Kentucky last year.

    Last 127 tons in the arsenal

    Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was ratified by the US Senate in 1997, the US and other signatory states committed to destroying their stockpiles of chemical weapons by September 30, 2023. According to the CDC, US inventories of chemical warfare agents reached nearly 40,000 tons in 1968. In the United States, around 127 tons were still waiting to be destroyed.

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    The destruction is a milestone a good 26 years after the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Chemical Weapons Control Authority (OPCW) oversees enforcement of the treaty. According to the Hague-based organization, the United States was the last country to have these warfare agents. The completion report from Washington means that “all reported stocks of chemical weapons have been irrevocably destroyed worldwide”. More than 70,000 tons of the deadliest weapons such as mustard gas and sarin have been rendered harmless since 1997.

    OPCW: “The world must remain on guard”

    But the world must remain vigilant about the recent use of chemical weapons, the OPCW warned. In the past ten years, government troops have repeatedly used banned warfare agents in the civil war in Syria.

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    Russian victims of a chemical weapons attack in World War I (1916)
    Russian Chemical Weapons Attack Casualties (1916): Nearly 100,000 dead in World War IImage: picture-alliance / akg-images

    If chemical weapons are suspected to have been used in conflicts, the OPCW sends investigators to the country concerned. The authority also regularly inspects the chemical industry in contracting states. Countries that have not signed the convention include North Korea, Israel, Egypt and South Sudan. The OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for its work.

    Many of the most shocking attacks on humans have come from chemical weapons. They were first used on a large scale in World War I. According to the United Nations, nearly 100,000 people were killed by chemical weapons at the time. Since then, more than a million people have died from this type of ammunition.

    AR/wa (rtr, dpa, afp)

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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