Uk Royal navy has helped, destroying the last stockpile of chemical weapons from Libya to keep them from reach of terrorists.
RFA Mounts Bay, Bay-class auxiliary landing ship, escorted a shipload of chemical weapon ingredients through the Mediterranean from Libya, for destruction in Germany.The 500 tons of chemicals on board a Danish transport vessel represented the last of the former dictator’s reserves, the UK ministry of defense announced Wednesday.
The voyage was protected by a detachment of Royal Marines and marked the final result of a top-secret, UN-backed mission to ensure the huge stockpile of mustard gas ingredients amassed by Col Gaddafi did not reach IS militants.
Separately, UK took samples of the chemicals for analysis by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, the Ministry Of Defense’s science arm.
The UK contributed around £500K to the overall destruction effort. The UK worked closely with a range of international partners in dealing with these chemicals from Libya, including the USA and Germany as well as the OPCW.
Even though Col Gaddafi’s chemical weapons were destroyed under international supervision in 2014, a quantity of precursor chemicals that could be used in the manufacture of weapons remained in the country.
Earlier this year, the Libyan Government of National Accord asked for help from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to remove the chemicals and destroy them abroad.
Besides, the UK conducted intensive diplomatic negotiations including in New York and The Hague to support the Resolution and the wider operation.
IS militants seized swathes of the north African country last year. This triggered fears that the weapons could be plundered and used by the militants. Isil fighters have regularly used the weapons in Iraq.
Libya had developed a formidable domestic chemical weapons programme under Col Gaddafi. When he declared his stockpiles as part of his rapprochement with the West in 2004, he admitted having 25 tons of sulfur mustard, 1,400 tons of ingredient chemicals and 3,500 unloaded aerial bombs.