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The US has destroyed the last of Syria’s chemical weapons

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The White House confirmed yesterday that United States military and civilian personal have successfully completed the destruction of the Syrian government’s declared stockpile of chemical weapons, news which signifies a turning point in the Syrian conflict.

President Barack Obama said in a statement that the completion of the effort, “advances our collective goal to ensure that the Assad regime cannot use its chemical arsenal against the Syrian people and sends a clear message that the use of these abhorrent weapons has consequences and will not be tolerated by the international community.”

The chemical weapons were destroyed aboard the United States cargo vessel MV Cape Ray in international waters, something that President Obama considers a significant step in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

However, he added that the government of President Bashar al-Assad must act on pledges to destroy its other weapons production facilities. Secretary of State John Kerry believes that Assad’s remaining weapons still present a threat.

“In record time, even amid a civil war, we removed and have now destroyed the most dangerous chemicals in the regime’s declared stockpiles,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “But much more work must be done.”

Kerry said there are still “discrepancies and omissions related to Syria’s chemical weapons declaration.” He also highlighted the continued use of chlorine gas against Syrian civilians by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, while reaffirming the United States’ support of moderate rebels.

“The United States,” Kerry said, “will continue to provide political, financial, and other support to the moderate opposition because we are committed to help those who seek the right of all Syrians to choose a future of peace and oppose the violent extremists who exploit the chaos and ruin that Assad has brought to Syria.”

Read more about the story at The New York Times.

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