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US ship preps for Syrian arms destruction

03 January 2014, 12:48

Portsmouth - A cargo ship is being outfitted in Virginia with sophisticated technology capable of destroying Syria's chemical weapons.

The 197m MV Cape Ray is undergoing work in a Portsmouth shipyard before sea trials and its expected voyage to the Mediterranean. The vessel in the Maritime Administration's ready reserve is rolling out the gangplank on Thursday for media visits.

A key shipboard addition is a high-tech system that can neutralise lethal chemical weapons such as nerve gas with water and bleaching compounds. It could treat more than two dozen metric tons of chemicals daily in international waters.

The US says a chemical weapons attack last August in a suburb of Damascus, Syria, killed 1 400 people.

The Syrian government has since agreed to a US.-Russian deal to eliminate its chemical arms.

- AP


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