WASHINGTON, D.C.: A US naval crew has begun work to “neutralize” Syria’s chemical weapons on a vessel in the Mediterranean, an unprecedented operation expected to take about two months, the Pentagon said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). The MV Cape Ray, which is outfitted with portable hydrolysis machinery, launched the effort after having loaded on board 600 metric tons of chemical agents at an Italian port on July 2, spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters. “We expect neutralization to take approximately 60 days,” Warren said. The pace of the work would depend in part on the weather and condi–tions at sea, he said. After breaking down the lethal chemicals to a sludge equivalent to in–dustrial waste, the byproducts will be transported to Finland and Germany for final disposal.