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US ship heads out to destroy Syrian chemical weapons

A specially-equipped US naval ship departed for Italy on Monday on a ground-breaking mission to destroy Syria's most dangerous chemical agents, Pentagon officials said. After setting off from the port of Norfolk on the Virginia coast at 7:30 pm EST (0030 GMT Tuesday), the MV Cape Ray is due to arrive in the southern port of Gioia Tauro in about "two to three weeks," spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters.

US ship heads out to destroy Syrian chemical weapons

A specially-equipped US naval ship departed for Italy on Monday on a ground-breaking mission to destroy Syria's most dangerous chemical agents, Pentagon officials said. Setting off from the port of Norfolk on the Virginia coast, the MV Cape Ray is due to arrive in the southern port of Gioia Tauro in about "two to three weeks," spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters. The 650-foot (197.5 meter) cargo ship has been outfitted with two large portable hydrolysis systems designed to neutralize lethal chemical agents in Syria's arsenal.

Russian navy ready to escort Syrian chemical weapons: Lavrov

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday its navy was ready to escort ships removing Syria's deadly chemical stockpile, which is due to be destroyed at sea under an international deal. Syria agreed to relinquish control of deadly toxins which can be used to make sarin, VX gas and other lethal agents in the agreement forged in the wake of an attack on the outskirts of Damascus which killed hundreds last August.

Chemical weapons watchdog to send more inspectors to Syria

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The global chemical weapons watchdog said on Tuesday it would send more inspectors to Syria to help destroy President Bashar al-Assad's stockpile of toxic munitions. Assad's government, fighting a civil war in which more than 100,000 people have died, agreed to destroy the arms after a sarin gas attack on the outskirts of Damascus killed hundreds of people in August.

Germany defends 'dual-use' chemical exports to Syria

The German government on Wednesday defended granting permits around a decade ago for exports to Syria of chemicals that can be used to make deadly sarin gas. The economy ministry said the export licences were granted between 2002 and 2006 for shipments totalling more than 100 tonnes of chemicals for both military and civilian use. They received the green light after "careful examination of all possible risks, including abuse and diversion threats in view of their possible uses in connection with chemical weapons", the ministry said.

Widespread use of chemical arms in Syria: UN report

Chemical weapons have been used on a wide scale in the Syria war and there is clear evidence sarin killed hundreds in one key attack, UN inspectors said Monday. "The conclusion is that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic ... against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale," says the report to be released by UN leader Ban Ki-moon.

Britain has fresh Syria chemical weapons evidence

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday that Britain had further evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which a British source said confirmed the use of sarin. "We have just been looking at some samples taken from Damascus in the Porton Down laboratory in Britain which further shows the use of chemical weapons in that Damascus suburb," Cameron told BBC TV from the G20 summit in St Petersburg. A British source told AFP that a soil and cloth sample taken from the site of the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian capital "has tested positive for sarin".

Kerry says sarin used in Syrian chemical attacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that tests proved positive for use of the chemical weapon sarin in Syrian chemical attacks. (Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Nerve gas still traceable, experts say of Syria attack

Traces of nerve agent would remain in victims for weeks, easily detectable if UN inspectors can examine people poisoned in last week's suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, experts said Monday. Toxicology and weapons specialists said a gas like sarin or VX would still be traceable in hair and tissue from human corpses and animal carcasses, the blood of survivors, and the site where the shells carrying the supposed nerve agent exploded.

Nerve gas still traceable, experts say of Syria attack

Traces of nerve agent would remain in victims for weeks, easily detectable if UN inspectors can examine people poisoned in last week's suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, experts said Monday. Toxicology and weapons specialists said a gas like sarin or VX would still be traceable in hair and tissue from human corpses and animal carcasses, the blood of survivors, and the site where the shells carrying the supposed nerve agent exploded.
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