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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Removal Of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Underway

A woman sits on a chair on a pier in front of the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad approaching the port of Limassol in the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus on January 6, 2014. Danish and Norwegian naval vessels head for waters off Syria again in readiness to escort a delayed shipment of key chemical weapons for destruction. (Yiannis Kourtoglou/AFP/Getty Images)

The Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad approaches the port of Limassol in the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus on January 6, 2014. Danish and Norwegian naval vessels head for waters off Syria again in readiness to escort a delayed shipment of key chemical weapons for destruction. (Yiannis Kourtoglou/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany announced today that it will accept and destroy some of the waste materials created by dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.

That comes on the heels of a report from the Syrian government saying that insurgents had attacked two chemical weapons storage sites.

Syria agreed last year to hand over all of its chemical weapons and materials to the international community for destruction.

Officials are confirming that a Danish ship carrying the first batch of those chemical materials set sail from the Syrian port of Latakia this week.

The shipment of 560 tons came more than a week after the December 31st deadline for removal passed. The delays were caused by inclement weather and war.

In all, more than 1,300 tons of weapons are expected to be removed by a flotilla that includes ships from Norway, China and Denmark.

Dr. Amy Smithson, a senior fellow at the Monterey Institute, joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the process of transporting and destroying chemical weapons.

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