The first batch of Syrian chemical weapons left port Tuesday, escorted by Chinese and Russian warships, on a ship bound for Italy. In Italy, the ship will link up with a U.S. Naval vessel and be taken out to sea where the chemical munitions on board will be destroyed in international waters. The international coalition leading efforts to dispose of Syria’s weapons was assembled in the wake of the deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia, which led the U.S. to drop the threat of military intervention in Syria in return for the regime turning over its stock of chemical weapons. Heavy fighting between the Assad regime and rebel groups, which caused Syria to miss the first deadline, of December 31st, for turning over its chemical munitions, continues in the country.
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