Chinese ship arrives to help in removal of Syrian chemical weapons materials
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
- The Chinese ship follows a Danish ship that took away the first load Tuesday
- The OPCW and the U.N. are dismantling Syria's chemical weapons arsenal
- They plan to be finished by the end of June
- Syria agreed to the measure after being blamed for chemical attack that killed hundreds
(CNN) -- A Chinese ship arrived to escort ships picking up chemical weapons materials from Syria on Tuesday, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.
The frigate Yancheng is working closely with other ships from Russia and Europe, the agency reported, citing a Beijing Foreign Ministry statement.
The international effort to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons program reached a milestone Tuesday when a Danish commercial ship picked up the first batch of important chemical materials, the group overseeing the work said.
The "priority chemical materials" loaded at the Syrian port of Latakia, and the ship -- escorted by Danish and Norwegian warships -- left for international waters, the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations said Tuesday.
How does Syrian conflict affect region?
The ship will remain at sea until more chemical materials are made available at the Latakia port for pickup. The chemicals eventually will be taken to locations outside Syria for destruction, the group said.
Tuesday's move comes a week after a deadline for the first chemical materials to leave Syria. The mission blamed the delay on "the continuing volatility in overall security conditions" and on "logistical challenges coupled with inclement weather."
Syria's chemical weapons are targeted for removal and elimination by the end of June.
Syria agreed to have its program dismantled under international pressure last year over allegations the Syrian government used sarin nerve gas in an August 21 attack on a Damascus suburb. U.S. officials said at least 1,400 people died in the attack. Syria denied responsibility, blaming rebel forces.
READ: Syria milestone: Chemical weapons materials on ship for destruction
Syria chemical weapons teams show how science can boost peace
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.