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
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 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.