THE HAGUE, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The last of the remaining chemicals identified for removal from Syria were loaded Monday afternoon aboard the Danish ship Ark Futura, it was announced by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu called the event a "landmark."
"The ship made its last call at the port of Latakia in what has been a long and patient campaign in support of this international endeavor," Uzumcu said in a statement.
OPCW sent its first inspector team to Syria last October to begin the mission to destroy the chemical weapons program of Syria. "Removing the stockpile of precursor and other chemicals has been a fundamental condition in the program to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons," the statement said.
The next stage in the mission is the completion of maritime operations to deliver the chemicals for destruction at the assigned facility on board the U.S. vessel Cape Ray and at commercial facilities in Finland, Germany, Britain and the United States.
"Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict," Uzumcu said. "This has been accomplished within very demanding and tight timeframes," he added.
"The OPCW will continue to engage with Syria to ensure that it is able to fulfill all its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and relevant decisions of the executive council and United Nations Security Council resolutions," Uzumcu said.