Private Firms Enlisted To Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons

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As U.S. and Western allies struggle with the mid-2014 deadline of dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons program, the international watchdog overseeing the process has invited private companies to bid for a chance to participate.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, will ask for “expressions of interest” from companies who want to help destroy an estimated 1,300 tons of “hazardous and non-hazardous organic and inorganic chemicals.”¬†An OPCW official said only about 20 tons in total are “ready chemical warfare agents” and the rest would have to be mixed to become weapons,” the Associated Press reports.

The move comes nearly one week after Albania rejected a U.S. request to host the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal and days after OPCW said carrying out the process at sea was “technically feasible.”