The last declared stockpile of chemical weapons from Syria, including mustard gas and the raw materials for producing the nerve agent Sarin, have arrived in Italy for destruction.
The Danish freighter Ark Futura arrived in Gioia Tauro earlier for its planned rendez-vous with the US ship MV Cape Ray which entered the Italian port late on Tuesday.
Specially equipped to neutralise the most toxic materials, once transferred, the US cargo vessel will head out into international waters to finally get rid of the weapons.
Despite residents and local officials raising concerns about the potential for contamination, footage filmed near the port appeared to show the transfer process already underway.
While the operation is being led by the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog the OPCW, the US has insisted the unprecedented move to destroy the toxic chemicals at sea is a safe way to neutralise the weapons and that no vapour or water runoff will be released into the atmosphere or sea as a result.