GIOIA TAURO, Italy (AP) — Cargo containers carrying hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons have been loaded onto a U.S. cargo ship for destruction at sea.
A Danish ship brought the chemicals to a port in southern Italy at sunrise this morning. There, cranes began lifting the 78 containers onto flatbed trucks, which then drove into the cargo hold of the U.S. cargo vessel MV Cape Ray.
Italy's environment minister is proclaiming the mission a proud moment for Italy, tweeting that the country is contributing to international security in a "transparent and environmentally secure operation."
However, local residents set up a small protest, complaining they were kept in the dark about what was going to happen and what chemicals are involved.
Once all the chemicals — including mustard gas and the raw materials for sarin nerve gas — are transferred, the Cape Ray will sail into the open sea and begin the process of neutralizing the materials.
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