The U.S. motor vessel Cape Ray departed Rota, Spain this morning enroute to the port of Gioia Tauro, Italy, where the ship will receive declared Syrian chemical weapons transferred from the Danish vessel Ark Futura. The transit to Italy is expected to take several days.
After the transfer is complete, the Cape Ray will depart Gioia Tauro for international waters to begin neutralization of the chemical agents using the embarked field deployable hydrolysis system. Neutralization will be conducted in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Nothing from this operation will be released into the environment.
The Cape Ray and the field deployable hydrolysis system are part of the United States' contribution to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - U.N. Joint Mission to eliminate Syria's declared chemical materials stockpile. As Secretary Hagel has made clear, we will work hard to destroy these materials so they never again pose a threat to the Syrian people or America's allies in the region.