The global chemical weapons watchdog is urging Syria to intensify efforts to get its stockpile of raw materials for poison gas and nerve agents to a port, so it can be shipped out of the country and destroyed.

The appeal was made Wednesday, a day after the first batch of toxic chemicals — believed to be precursors for mustard gas and sarin — was loaded onto a Danish cargo ship in the Syrian port of Latakia and shipped toward international waters.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons spokesman Michael Luhan says the Nobel Peace Prize-winning watchdog is "exhorting the Syrian government to intensify its efforts so we can conclude this critical part of this mission absolutely as fast as conditions allow."