BRUSSELS, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – A third batch of chemical weapons was taken out of Syria on Monday, the global chemical weapons watchdog said.
A pair of Danish and Norwegian ships – the Ark Futura and the Taiko – have already taken two shipments of chemicals out of Syria since January 7.
“A third shipment of chemical weapons material took place from the Syrian Arab Republic today,’ the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement.
“The joint mission confirms that in-country destruction of some chemical materials has taken place alongside the removal of chemical weapons material, and welcomes progress to date,” the statement reads.
The third shipment of the dangerous cargo is being carried by a Norwegian ship accompanied by a naval escort from Chinese, Danish, Norwegian and Russian vessels. The United Kingdom is participating in the naval escort in international waters. Finland is providing experts aboard the Danish vessel.
“Warships from four states are accompanying the Taiko special cargo vessel in their respective sectors,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The operation is being coordinated by a special committee based on board the Russian nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Veliky.
The operation to destroy the Syria government’s arsenal of more than 1,000 metric tons of weapons-grade chemicals is due to take place in two stages.
The most dangerous material was to have been removed from Syria by December 31, although this deadline was missed as a result of the unstable security situation in the country. It should be destroyed at sea by April, with the rest slated for destruction by June 30.