U.N. says second chemical shipment removed from Syria

A forklift is seen inside the Norwegian cargo vessel “Taiko” transporting Syria’s chemical agents for destruction is pictured in Limassol in this handout photo released to Reuters on January 26, 2014 by the Norwegian Armed Forces. (Reuters)

A second shipment of chemical weapons materials has been removed from Syria under a deal to eliminate its arsenal, the joint U.N. mission overseeing the disarmament said Monday.

“Today, a further shipment of chemical weapons materials took place from the Syrian Arab Republic,” the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement.

“The chemical materials were verified by Joint Mission personnel before being loaded in Lattakia port onto Danish and Norwegian cargo vessels for onward transportation.”

An earlier shipment was removed on Jan. 7.

The U.N. Security Council last year backed a US-Russian deal to eliminate Syria’s vast chemical arsenal as a way to avert US strikes threatened after a massive chemical attack near Damascus that Washington blamed on the regime.

Under the agreement, Syria’s entire chemical arsenal is to be eliminated by June 30.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been battling rebels for nearly three years, following his government’s brutal crackdown on a pro-democracy uprising that began in March 2011.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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