The 648-foot U.S. container ship MV Cape Ray departed Portsmouth Naval shipyard yesterday to destroy Syrian chemical weapons, the Associated Press reports.
The mission, delayed due to the ship’s engine hiccups, has continued and MV Cape Ray headed for the Italian port of Gioia Tauro, where it will load about 530 tons of chemical weapons.
The removal operation started in the beginning of January, with the first materials transported to the port of Latakia, from where they were loaded onto Danish and Norwegian commercial vessels bound for the Gioia Tauro port.
The second shipment of chemical weapons was loaded onto ships from Denmark and Norway yesterday at Latakia, Syria.
MV Cape Ray was outfitted with two portable hydrolysis systems, created to neutralize Syrian chemical weapons.
US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, yesterday said that the crew of the ship is going to do something no one has tried before. They will destroy one of the world’s largest chemical stockpiles of chemical weapons.
Naval Today Staff, January 28, 2014; Image: Wikimedia