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Backlash Against Destruction of Syria's Chemicals in Mediterannean

chemicalsA rally against Syria’s chemicals has been scheduled for Thursday, June 5, in Chania, Crete. The demonstrators will gather on Thursday at 7:30 p.m in the central square of the city to protest against the destruction of Syria’s chemicals in the Mediterranean.
The destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons in the Mediterranean will take place just 200 miles southwest of Crete, the Peloponnese and the Ionian islands. The reactions of the residents, scientists and environmental organizations are enormous, while the Greek government and the media remain silent.
The Syrian arsenal is being transferred from the city of Latakia, in Syria to the Port of Gioia Tauro, in south Italy. From there, the chemicals will be loaded in the American navy ship Cape Ray. The ship will sail to a location between Greece, Italy and Libya, where 64 experts from the Edgewood Chemical & Biological Center, the largest research center of the U.S. military will destroy the toxic cargo.
Hydrolysis, which is considered as the most appropriate method for the destruction of chemical weapons has been used many times, mostly in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Cape Ray contains about 700 tonnes of chemical weapons from Syria, including sulfur mustard and one the sarin precursors, methylphosphonyl difluoride.
American experts estimate that the time required for the destruction of chemicals through hydrolysis will reach 90 days. However, Robert Burke, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, told the Guardian that the whole process will last approximately 60 days, depending on the weather conditions.
Meanwhile,  the decision of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) to prohibit fishing activities in the Mediterranean Sea has raised concerns. Many claim that the measure is related to the destruction of chemicals in the area. However, authorities say that the prohibition of fishing activities aims to the protection of fish stocks and the prevention of overfishing.

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