US Ship Takes Over Syria Chemicals in Italy
The MV Cape Ray has docked in the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro and has finished transferring Syrian chemical agents and precursor materials, U.S. Department of Defence confirmed.
The Cape Ray has received about 600 metric tons of material from the MV Ark Futura, a Danish roll-on/roll-off freighter.
Now the chemical materials are aboard the Cape Ray, the ship will “transit to international waters to neutralize the chemical agents in a safe and environmentally sound manner,” Air Force Gen. Phillip M. Breedlove, the commander of U.S. European Command, said during a news conference.
Two shipboard field deployable hydrolysis systems, developed specifically for this mission, will take about 60 days to neutralize the materials, a defense official said.
Syria declared and delivered 1,300 metric tons of chemical materials, the defense official said.
While the Cape Ray will destroy about 600 metric tons of that material, the remainder is being delivered to commercial and government facilities in Europe and the United States for destruction.
The materials to be destroyed include sulfur mustard, or HD, commonly referred to as mustard gas, and methylphosphonyl difluoride, or DF, which is a precursor agent to sarin and soman, both nerve agents.
The hazardous byproducts from the Cape Ray will be processed by facilities in Germany and Finland, the defense official said.
Joint chemical weapons teams from the OPCW and the United Nations began securing Syrian chemical sites in early October, and the Syrian government handed over the last of its declared chemical stockpiles June 23rd.
Press Release; July 2nd, 2014