Menu
Home

World

First Syrian poison gas program chemicals have been shipped out of Syrian port

  • 92fd6e75b6fd0c00480f6a706700eefc.jpg

    A crew member of the Danish warship Esbern Snare wears a protective mask which shows the reflection of the Danish cargo ship Ark Futura, during emergency drills on the sea between Cyprus and Syria, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Two cargo ships and their warship escorts set sail at waters near Syria where they will wait for orders on when they can head to the Syrian port of Latakia to pick up more than 1,000 tons of chemical agents. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)The Associated Press

  • 8f2c9d69b78b0f00480f6a7067003d5d.jpg

    A crew member of the Danish warship Esbern Snare looks at the Norwegian warship "Helge Ingstad" as they pass each other during a sunset at sea between Cyprus and Syria, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Two cargo ships and their warship escorts set sail at waters near Syria where they will wait for orders on when they can head to the Syrian port of Latakia to pick up more than 1,000 tons of chemical agents. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)The Associated Press

  • a4691e56b6f40c00480f6a7067003bf7.jpg

    A crew member of the Danish warship Esbern Snare enters a decontamination shower wearing a gas mask, while another crew member waits, during drills at sea between Cyprus and Syria, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Two cargo ships and their warship escorts set sail at waters near Syria where they will wait for orders on when they can head to the Syrian port of Latakia to pick up more than 1,000 tons of chemical agents. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)The Associated Press

A United Nations diplomat says the first batch of Syrian poison gas precursor chemicals has been loaded onto a Danish cargo ship and taken out of the war-torn country.

The announcement Tuesday by Sigrid Kaag that the raw materials had been loaded onto the ship at Syria's Latakia port marked a belated but crucial step in the international operation to rid President Bashar Assad of his declared chemical weapons program by mid-year.

Kaag is the Dutch diplomat leading the joint mission by the U.N. and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to destroy Syria's chemical stockpile.