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Syria weapons moved onto US ship for destruction

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:59 am | Updated: 12:42 pm, Wed Jul 2, 2014.

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 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 (SA'-rihn) nerve gas — are transferred, the Cape Ray will sail into the open sea and begin the process of neutralizing the materials.

%@AP Links

APPHOTO FP102: In this photo provided by the "Vigili del Fuoco" (Italian firefighters), containers are lined up on the deck of the Danish vessel Ark Futura, moored at Gioia Tauro port, southern Italy, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Cargo containers carrying hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons were loaded onto a U.S. cargo ship Wednesday for destruction at sea, one of the final phases of the international effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapon stockpile. The chemicals had crossed the Mediterranean aboard the Danish ship Ark Futura, which steamed into the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro as the sun rose Wednesday. Waiting there was the U.S. cargo vessel MV Cape Ray, which arrived a day earlier and has equipment on board to neutralize the chemicals. (AP Photo/Vigili del Fuoco) (2 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO FP102 (07/02/14)££

APPHOTO XLB127: Containers are lined up on the deck of the the Danish vessel Ark Futura to be moved to the U.S.-owned MV Cape Ray, at Gioia Tauro port, southern Italy, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A Danish ship carrying hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons steamed into the southern Italian port on Wednesday for a rendezvous with a U.S. cargo vessel that will destroy the toxic material. Within an hour of arrival, a forklift truck was at work on the Ark Fortuna's deck beginning to move the containers. Local officials estimate the transfer of chemicals might take as long as 20 hours, depending on sea conditions. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) (2 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO XLB127 (07/02/14)££

APPHOTO XLB125: A container from the Danish vessel Ark Futura is lowered onto a truck to be driven into the U.S.-owned MV Cape Ray, at Gioia Tauro port, southern Italy, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A Danish ship carrying hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons steamed into the southern Italian port on Wednesday for a rendezvous with a U.S. cargo vessel that will destroy the toxic material. Within an hour of arrival, a forklift truck was at work on the Ark Fortuna's deck beginning to move the containers. Local officials estimate the transfer of chemicals might take as long as 20 hours, depending on sea conditions. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) (2 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO XLB125 (07/02/14)££

APPHOTO XLB119: A truck carrying a container from the Danish vessel Ark Futura drives into the hold of the U.S.-owned MV Cape Ray, at Gioia Tauro port, southern Italy, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A Danish ship carrying hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons steamed into the southern Italian port on Wednesday for a rendezvous with a U.S. cargo vessel that will destroy the toxic material. Within an hour of arrival, a forklift truck was at work on the Ark Fortuna's deck beginning to move the containers. Local officials estimate the transfer of chemicals might take as long as 20 hours, depending on sea conditions. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) (2 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO XLB119 (07/02/14)££

APPHOTO XLB118: A truck carrying a container from the Danish vessel Ark Futura drives into the hold of the U.S.-owned MV Cape Ray, at Gioia Tauro port, southern Italy, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A Danish ship carrying hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons steamed into the southern Italian port on Wednesday for a rendezvous with a U.S. cargo vessel that will destroy the toxic material. Within an hour of arrival, a forklift truck was at work on the Ark Fortuna's deck beginning to move the containers. Local officials estimate the transfer of chemicals might take as long as 20 hours, depending on sea conditions. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) (2 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO XLB118 (07/02/14)££

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