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The Pentagon said U.S. container ship Cape Ray began neutralizing chemical materials on Monday that were once part of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s weapons arsenal. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters the ship, in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, began processing about 600 metric tonnes of chemical weapons and raw materials that could be used in them. The U.S. government has said the materials include mustard gas and components for the nerve agent sarin. The materials were transferred to the Cape Ray earlier in July from a vessel that brought them out of Syria. Assad agreed last year to turn over his chemical weapons stockpile as part of a disarmament deal. Warren said it is expected that the ship will need 60 days to process the materials.

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