The painstaking process of destroying Syria's giant chemical weapons stash is set to begin next week. U.S. vessel MV Cape Ray is scheduled to leave the Spanish port of Rota for Gioia Tauro, Italy, Wednesday where it will play a key role in the delicate mission. First, it will meet Danish vessel Ark Futura, which is carrying Syria's entire stockpile of chemical weapons and precursor chemicals.
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Approximately 560 tons of the deadly chemicals will be transferred to MV Cape Ray on July 2 and 3. The U.S. ship will then head into international waters in the Mediterranean where the deadly chemicals, including mustard and sarin nerve agent precursors, will be pumped through two hydrolysis systems, mixed with hot water and rendered harmless. Syria handed over its final acknowledged stockpile of weapons, totaling 1,300 tons, this month. The remaining 740 tons will be transported to disposal sites in the U.K., Finland and Port Arthur, Texas.
First published June 25 2014, 10:32 AM
Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News. On 9/11, he was the first at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has since led the network's coverage of the war in Afghanistan.
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Since joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton's transition from Little Rock, his many trips abroad including Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.
In the Bush White House, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.
Miklaszewski has logged considerable foreign experience with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the "tanker wars" in the Persian Gulf.