US has destroyed its final chemical weapon: report

Chemical weapons have reportedly been responsible for more than 1 million deaths worldwide.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
The Pentagon confirmed on Monday that the United States has destroyed its last chemical weapon at a Kentucky munitions facility following a decades-long effort to clear out the deadly chemicals from US military stockpiles.

On Friday, the US Department of Defense destroyed a rocket filled with GB nerve agent also known as sarin at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky. More than 100,000 rounds of mustard and nerve agents, VX and sarin, were dismantled at the location, The Hill reports.

On June 22, the US military conducted an operation at a second chemical munitions destruction facility in Pueblo, Colorado and destroyed more than 780,000 projectiles and mortars filled with mustard gas, according to the Pentagon.

"We are proud to announce that the final two chemical munitions destruction sites, Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky and the Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado, completed their operations," Douglas Bush, Army assistant secretary, told reporters Monday.

“Destroying the remainder posed a greater challenge because it involved the more complicated approach of neutralizing these munitions’ chemicals," Bush said.

The White House revealed on Friday that the operation to destroy the nation's chemical weapons stockpile, which at its peak at the conclusion of the Cold War weighed more than 30,000 tons, has been completed.

"For more than 30 years, the United States has worked tirelessly to eliminate our chemical weapons stockpile. Today, I am proud to announce that the United States has safely destroyed the final munition in that stockpile—bringing us one step closer to a world free from the horrors of chemical weapons," President Biden said in a statement.

The achievement marks the end of an era in American combat that began with the use of deadly gasses like mustard, chlorine, and phosgene during World War I, which the United Nations estimates killed 100,000 people. Chemical weapons have reportedly been responsible for more than 1 million deaths worldwide.

The Geneva Convention eventually outlawed the use of chemical weapons but nations kept the deadly chemicals in storage. The weapons were to be destroyed, according to the deal, which was signed by 193 nations and went into effect in 1997.

Under the agreement, the United States was given a Sept. 30 deadline to destroy the remainder of the weapons.

The Pentagon said Monday that it had taken the US more than a decade to destroy the last 10 percent of chemical weapons.

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