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Syrian Chemical Weapons Shipment Heads to Italian Port

<p>President Bashar Assad's lethal arsenal will be transferred to an American ship in a port in southern Italy and later destroyed at sea.<br><br></p>

The southern port of Gioia Tauro will be used for the transfer Syrian chemical weapons agents from cargo ships to an American military vessel to be destroyed at sea, the government said Thursday.

According to the BBC, Gioia Tauro officials were angered by the decision to use their port.

The removal and destruction of the most dangerous agents in President Bashar Assad's chemical arsenal will probably be delayed until the end of June because of logistical and security problems, the head of the world's chemical weapons watchdog said earlier on Thursday.

The vessel's tracking device has been switched off, sources said.

The arsenal is being destroyed as part of an international accord brokered by Russia after attacks on the outskirts of capital Damascus killed hundreds in August.

Syria's near three-year year civil war pitting largely Sunni rebels against the government of Alawite Assad has killed more than 100,000 people.

Reuters contributed to this report.