US ship heads on Syrian chemical weapons mission

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. cargo ship loaded with sophisticated equipment is setting sail for the Mediterranean Sea where it will be used to destroy dozens of containers of deadly chemical weapons being removed from Syria.

The MV Cape Ray is slated to leave Virginia Monday afternoon for what is expected to be a roughly two-week trip to the Italian port of Gioia Tauro, where the chemicals will be transferred to the ship.

The chemicals include raw materials for making sarin and mustard gas and they will be destroyed at sea. A Danish ship has collected some chemicals, but is in international waters off Syria waiting to load more. Security challenges in Syria have slowed the transport of the materials to a port there where they are then loaded onto the Danish ship.