BEIRUT

Middle East

Second chemical shipment removed from Syria: U.N.

A handout picture released by Norway's armed forces on January 26, 2014 shows soldiers onboard the Norwegian frigate KNM "Helge Ingstad". AFP PHOTO/LARS MAGNE HOVTUN/NORWEGIAN ARMED FORCES

DAMASCUS: A second shipment of chemical weapons materials has been removed from Syria under a deal to eliminate its arsenal, the joint UN 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 Organisation 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 January 7.

The UN 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 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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