(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The White House congratulated the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Joint Mission and the entire international coalition for their "unprecedented work" in removing the final eight percent of declared chemical weapons materials from Syria.
"The world will never forget the loss of more than 1,400 innocent Syrians senselessly killed with chemical weapons on August 21st, 2013," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a briefing.
The comments were made following the completion of the International Maritime Task Force mission of removing more than 1,000 tons of declared chemical weapons precursors from Syria.
"There is no starker reminder that for almost 100 years the international community has deemed the use of these weapons to be far beyond the bounds of acceptable conduct. The removal of these materials sends a clear message that the use of these abhorrent weapons has consequences and will not be tolerated by the international community.
"While our work is not finished to ensure the complete elimination of Syria's chemical weapons program, this is an important milestone in the international community's commitment to respond to the use of chemical weapons by removing the Syrian regime's stockpiles," he said.
In addition to the removal of all declared chemicals, the OPCW has also verified the destruction of declared production, mixing and filling equipment, Earnest noted.
The OPCW has also verified the destruction of all declared chemical weapons delivery vehicles, including missile warheads and aerial bombs, he added.
In the coming weeks, the United States will begin destruction of a large amount of Syria's chemical weapons precursors aboard the US container ship Cape Ray. This will be done in the safest, most environmentally sound manner, he said.
"It is an unprecedented mission deploying unique American capabilities to destroy the most dangerous elements of the Syrian arsenal.
"This will ensure that they will never be used against the Syrian people or against the United States, our allies, our partners in the region or beyond.
"We continue to strongly oppose the Assad regime's appalling violations of human rights and will continue to work with our friends and partners, including the moderate opposition in Syria, to support efforts to assist the Syrian people and bring about a transition to a government that is responsive to their aspirations," Earnest said.