Chemical Weapons Have Begun to Leave Syria

The Norwegian warship "Helge Ingstad" passes by the Danish warship Esbern Snare during a sunset at sea between Cyprus and Syria, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. The Norwegian warship "Helge Ingstad" passes by the Danish warship Esbern Snare during a sunset at sea between Cyprus and Syria, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Petros Karadjias/AP

After a number of setbacks concerning security and weather in Syria, the mission to rid the country of deadly chemical weapons is back on track. The United Nations reports that the first shipment of chemical weapons has left Syria, on its way to the American naval vessel, the MV Cape Ray, where the weapons will be destroyed.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the nine containers were on the Danish ship headed out of the port city of Latakia, though they did not specify exactly how much of the existing 1,300 tons (716 of which are classified as being of  the "most dangerous" variety) of chemicals constitutes nine containers. The vessel will remain at sea as it awaits more shipments at the port and is being guarded by ships from China, Denmark, Norway, and Russia.

The program appears to be back on track after Syrian government forces took back control of the highway linking Damascus to the port, and a State Department spokesperson said that Assad's regime appears to be complying with the arrangement.

Read more at The Wire

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